Privacy and the Internet Thought Paper

Benjamin Franklin said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Reynolds, 2010, p. 113).   An individual’s right to privacy in America, afforded by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (Reynolds, 2010, p. 117), is exactly the type of essential liberty Mr. Franklin was referencing.   A reasonable expectation of privacy establishes a right to privacy, according to United States (U.S.) courts, however current laws do not offer the privacy protection people assume they have (Reynolds, 2010, p. 117).   Privacy issues regarding protection from unreasonable intrusion are a topic of hot debate when weighing the need to ensure national security and safety against an individual’s right to privacy, and the debate is elevated when technology, such as the Internet, electronic surveillance, geospatial monitoring, and biometric identification are added to the discussion.   Individuals are subjected to and forced to comply with policies regarding the use of these technologies, but the gap between privacy policies and practices needs to be evaluated against ethical considerations, and policy revisions such as new laws and technological solutions should be implemented to provide the proper protections for an individual’s reasonable expectation and right to privacy.   It is, therefore, worthwhile to explore privacy policies regarding the use of the Internet, and electronic surveillance.

II.PRIVACY POLICIES – PURPOSE, APPLICABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY Between privacy protection and the law there is a great divide.   Privacy was deemed a basic...