Privacy is the “expectation that confidential personal information disclosed in a private place will not be disclosed to third parties, when that disclosure would cause either embarrassment or emotional distress to a person of reasonable sensitivities”, (Ronald B. Standler 1997) whereas the “Invasion of Privacy” is the wrongful intrusion into a person's private activities by other individuals or by the government. (Barron’s Law Dictionary) The invasion of privacy of general people by government is a long debate supported by strong arguments from both the sides.
The problem is surrounded by the issues of Law, security and the rights of people to secure their privacy. The supporters of this invasion argue that for the security of the people it is very important to have comprehensive knowledge about them. They also point out that the people involve in illegal activities fear the invasion otherwise it doesn’t harm people but there are some very strong arguments that apposes the government invasion in to the private life of public.
The opponents of government’s invasion argue that every individual has a right to keep his personal information secret and unopened for other people. The invasion of his privacy could harm him in many ways and can affect his life. With rapid advancements in technologies many opportunities are now available to government to keep record of personal information of people. This advancement has facilitated the government to keep comprehensive record of their shopping, traveling, and consuming certain products and other activities.
Some of these records are also available to other organization and people and this availability gives rise to the issue of protecting the personal information from being public. The government uses to keep the information about people in the data base of “Driving Licenses, Driving Records, Motor Vehicle Registration & Titles, Land Titles, Property Tax Records, Voting Registration Records, Occupational Licenses, Use Licenses (e. g.
, ham radio, CB radio) , Firearms Permits , Court Records , Bankruptcy , Civil Actions, Law Enforcement Records, Compiled Criminal History Records, Boat, Aircraft, and Other Vehicle Titles and Political Contributions records” (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Fact sheet 11) It is very necessary that the information kept under the above data base would not be available to the general people so that there could be no chance of misuse of the information but the constitution is not well protecting and well supporting the rights of people to secure their privacy.
However some work is being done in order to form legislations that can resolve the issue. At present there is “Freedom of Information Act” and the “Privacy Act of 1974” that prohibits disclosing the personal information contained in the government records, to other people. The people right to protect their privacy is also defended by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights.
The law states that “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” (Lloyd L. Rich, 1995) however the public still has access to certain information about other individuals.
They can access the private information by going through the records kept by the government on websites. The issue of invasion of privacy is directly linked with the politics. The political system of United States is based upon Democracy that supports the openness of society. In a democratic society the people have right to freely communicate and interact with each other, freely express their feelings about any issue and freely conduct their activities with out any interruption and interference.
When the privacy is invaded by the government the people will not have facilities to conduct all these activities in the way they should be done in a democratic system. The Invasion of Privacy by Government is Wrong Though some people favor the government invasion of people privacy with the security point of view, there are several arguments made in order to prove that the act of government to invade the privacy of people is wrong and should be changed.
The government not only keeps the record of personal information but with the help of advance technologies, they also keep eye on the activities of people through the hidden cameras, remote video cameras placed at several places, internet tracking and satellites. All these monitored activities are kept in form of records, as these records are computerized so they are save within the websites of government and become easily accessible for the direct marketers, private investigators, attorneys, law enforcement officials and other government agencies.
These actions contributed towards the invasion of privacy without which “one cannot develop a sense of the human individual as an intrinsically valuable being, abstracted from his or her social role” (Rhoda Howard, 1996) The situation give rise to the question that the easy access of government to the records of public activities accounts for their security or it is destroying their right of privacy. The invasion of people privacy by the government often results in creating uncomfortable feelings among them, affecting their internet activities, communication among the people via phone or internet etc.