Visual Encyclopedia

Privacy

Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes. When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special or sensitive to them. The domain of privacy partially overlaps security (confidentiality), which can include the concepts of appropriate use, as well as protection of information. Privacy may also take the form of bodily integrity.

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Right to privacy? Or security?

Many become angered when they learn that the government has so much access to their personal information, be it emails or phone calls or text messages. That's perfectly reasonable. The government alleges that its actions are for national security (whether probing into other people's information has prevented attacks is unknown). However, we are privileged. If America were impoverished with famine and had terrorist groups killing families, privacy would be a second priority to security. The right to privacy above all is not fully correct. We are only used to having a standard of security so that it can be placed second to personal liberty/privacy. Reality is, we have to be alive in order to have personal privacy to passionately defend.

Contributed by Lucy Zhang

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