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Privacy In The Digital Environment By Samuel Warren And Louis Brandeis

Decent Essays
Since the beginning of organized society, the war between privacy and security has raged. From the earliest constitutions and legal documents governing the settling of lands and property, to more recent constitutions, such as the constitution of South Africa, this battle is evident. The first mention of privacy in a publication in the United States: “The Right to Privacy” written by two lawyers, Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, in the 1890 Harvard Law Journal. It is within this writing that the phrase “right to be let alone” was first used to describe the right of privacy (Warren pg. 1). However, this simple attempt to define this seemingly inherent right may not be fully adequate. In “Privacy in the Digital Environment”, the Haifa Center…show more content…
The right to privacy gives us the ability to choose which parts in this domain can be accessed by others, and to control the extent, manner, and timing of the use of those parts we choose to disclose” (Onn et al pg. 12). Permitting this definition, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights affords the following protection “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks” (Universal Declaration Article 12). Nevertheless, it seems that the privacy of the citizen continues to be infringed upon, if not by government, then by corporation and business, businesses intent on buying and selling the data of the consumer. So, to what degree should these entities be permitted to continue to do this, and what action should be taken to halt them? Privacy is a sufficiently crucial aspect of American society and a right of the American citizen, and deserves to be preserved. To best handle the specific and contrasting array of questions and individual issues that will come about from attempting to solve this problem, a specific division should be created to handle privacy law and…show more content…
They support this view by pointing out that many Americans willing give away their privacy, often in the name of convenience or security. It should be made clear, however, that many restrictions of privacy are executed by the government through actions such as the controversial Patriot Act. Of those who argue against expanded privacy laws, John Yoo defends the Patriot Act as follows, “the Patriot Act itself was a grab bag of common sense modifications, drafted primarily by career civil servants in the law enforcement and intelligence communities, to update our surveillance laws for a world of e-mail, cell phones, and texting”. He then goes on to state that although “government can go too far in favor of security, it can also go too far in the other direction,” even claiming that “fear of sharing information between government agencies, undoubtedly contributed to the September 11 attacks” (Yoo pg. 23). As Mr. Yoo points out, expanded surveillance can indeed be used to help protect the public. Mayor of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Richard Gray, presented the possible benefits of this to the city safety commission. He states that without “the presence of video cameras, many perpetrators of both property crimes and violent crimes would not be apprehended and prosecuted” (Gray pg. 98). Those who oppose privacy
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