Privacy facing a rapid decline in today's society

by JulianLa on February 27, 2013 - 11:23pm

Allison Jones from Global Montreal writes about privacy matters with the police concerning cell phones on February 21st, 2013. As well as Laura Holson from the New York Times writing about privacy issues with phones between user to user.  In Avner Levin's academic journal titled “Is workplace surveillance legal in Canada?”, it brings up privacy at work (International Journal of Information Security; Sep2007, Vol. 6 Issue 5, p313-321, 9p, 1 Chart). All of these relate, in some way or another, to the major issue of Crime and Law.


Allison Jones article shared a very interesting story concerning the fact that privacy may be less cared for than what we actually thought it was to be. After a man was arrested, the police had searched through his cell phone without his permission at all. This was allowed because, according to the court, once someone is arrested, the police have a right to look into that persons phoneifit's not password protected. The man argued that the police had breached his charter rights by taking a look at his phone. However, the court only denied him and had stated they could because there was no password.  

Another example of lack of privacy would be from Avner Levin's academic journal “Is workplace surveillance legal in Canada?”. He brings up the issue of surveillance at work. It's a given that every employer will want to keep a check up on his employee's at any given time. The paper states many different kinds of technologies used nowadays to survey and monitor workers. However, this brings into account whether or not this is legal and under which circumstances would such surveillance actually be considered lawful in Canada.

The article by Laura Holson suggests that privacy is now being lost due to all the new devices and technologies available in the world. Many teenagers and young adults are more willing to share personal information on the internet and to use services such as Loopt and buddy beacon. Both of these are for locating friends and family, so no matter where you are anyone that has you added can see where you are whenever and wherever. Although since many people would want some privacy sometimes, they would be more prone to disabling the feature causing others like parents of girlfriends/boyfriends getting worried and wanting to know why they are being blocked.  


All these articles relate to privacy to a certain extent. I found the article by Allison Jones very interesting as we can see that even though the police has the job made for protecting, they can still abuse that power to do what they want. Although I find it pretty ridiculous that just because a phone has no password it can be searched, even if it had a password it would change nothing to the situation. The academic journal by Avner Levin shows more how privacy can easily be disregarded. Although this is definitely more reasonable as employers have a right to know what their workers are doing at all times. However, to what extent does this right go? It can easily be abused if taken for granted. The article by Laura Holson brings up many interesting points. It does not directly apply to higher up's breaching others privacy, but it still relates to the privacy of others and how easy it is now to get information on anyone, anywhere at any time.

Too many people are starting to become less aware that releasing personal information  can lead to unwanted results. They just take it for what it is and don't bother thinking about all the repercussions it could have on them. Even though we live in a world that has greatly advanced, we would think that privacy and the sort would be a lot safer. Although that statement could also be said backwards, which is what worries me about the up and coming technologies of the world and the effect it can have on everyone.




Works cited


Jones, Allison. "OK for Police to Search Cellphone on Arrest If No Password: Court." Global Montreal, 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.


Holson, Laura M. "Privacy Lost: These Phones Can Find You." The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Oct. 2007. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.




I have also written an article relating to privacy but at a larger scale. The technology has grown so large in the past couple of years that even nations have hacked into other nation's intelligence. Similar to people, nations do not wish to release confidential/personal information to the public. Though you write more along the lines of personal information, there is no one helping to protect your information. My article consists of how archivists have been able to protect confidential information from the public. Maybe there should be a job to protect personal information from hackers? You might find it interesting to know what exactly archivists do. If you would like to see my article, clike here!

I believe that people are responsible for their own privacy to a certain extent. There are laws and rights emplaced to help people retain their privacy. If someone is violating those rights and laws then the issue can be settled with the help of the police and a court of law. I do strongly agree that people are extremely unaware of how public their private info really is. However, that goes back to taking personal responsibility for releasing that information. In the case of social networking sites, users' privacy is subject to how much they decide to reveal.

I totally agree with the fact that we’re not aware enough of the consequences of releasing personal information on the internet, for instance. Taking facebook as an example, a majority of its users write information or take pictures of them in situations we could qualify of doubtful. The thing is that most of them are unaware that everything they post online stays on the internet for the rest of their life, even though they delete it. It is a powerful tool that many employers actually use to see what type of candidates they have for a job. I would suggest facebook users, and any other internet users to be aware of the two-edge facet of this so convenient tool.

I agree that privacy is being affected by technology, but we have knowledge of this therefore I don’t think it affects our ability to act autonomously in protecting our privacy. There is no one saying we have to post personal information, or information that we wouldn’t want just anyone to know on the internet or through text messages. I think our use of technology is a choice we make and maybe now it’s time to start weighing the consequences before acting. Using the example of computer hackers we can use our judgement of whether or not we’d like to risk certain information being exposed. 

First of all, I don't believe a cell phone is like a house. If the guy who had his phone searched had incriminating information on his phone then he is to blame for having it there in the first place or at the least not having it password protected. Secondly there are many other sites that let people know where you are at all times with the use of gps such as Facebook. Yes you can turn the option off however many people aren't even aware that it is doing that. Facebook can pinpoint where you are on a map, and give the person directions on how to get to you, and how long it would take to get to you. Freaky eh?

 I believe it may be a good occurence that progression has reached a front that allows for employers to keep an eye on their employees. Privacy should not protect a right for payed procrastination. Private activities should probably be had on private time. Although technology advances on to new fields, our rational ability to adapt to situations continues to give us our right to social liberties.