Privacy and Technology

A study of the social and ethical issues of law enforcement’s use of technology for surveillance.

This paper discusses the ethical issues, challenges, and dilemmas that have arisen due to technological advances of law enforcement on personal privacy. It debates both pros and cons of privacy in relation to technology. The paper describes the economic and political implications on the individual rights and society as a whole.
Big Brother is definitely here. Just the other day the news reported that the average American is photographed nine to twelve times per day. Cameras are everywhere. People are photographed while they are driving to and from work, while they are parking their cars, entering their place of employment, and if the company is any size other than a mom and pop shop, they are watched at work. Whether one is making a deposit at the bank, buying groceries at the local grocery chain, gas at the 7-11 store, or browsing books at the library, they are being not only watched, but photographed. From the smallest market to the largest mall, every store and parking lot is equipped with security video cameras. Run a red light or speed down the highway, and one is apt to receive a ticket by mail via the electronic eye that photographed the car, license number and occupants. There is literally no place that is sacred from prying eyes, save the sanctuary of one’s own home, and even that is questionable. If one is a computer user, his or her Web surfing habits and emails may be randomly monitored. The truth is that what the local video cameras do not pick up, satellites orbiting the globe from space will.