The balance between privacy and safety has been continuously debated and shifted. The concept of one being more “important” than another relies on each individual and what values are prioritized. When asking if one is more important, it is as if asking whether the left or right side is a better political perspective: it simply depends on each unique person. It is an opinion rather than an answer. Living in an age of advanced technology brings the burden of increased risk of breach of information. Arriving in this age caused this debate to become more relevant now than ever.
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Some people value the peace of mind from national security, knowing that giving up their privacy will significantly help law enforcement discover people posing as threats to the public, or solving an important crime. A quintessential defense that such people claim is that if they do not have anything to hide, there is no sense in keeping information private. The other side of the debacle believes in other matters. They prioritize individuality and consider it as a human right. They wish for themselves to be respected by others and the government. If one believes either is more important, it is not considered wrong. It should only be such if proper reasoning is not supported. Looking at both sides of the equation holds a valuable insight in choosing if privacy or safety is more important.
When thinking about national security, is it often thought as the government defending its civilians against danger, whether it be domestic or foreign. While there is debate on the safety of the United States, for example, its ranking on the Global Peace Index, it ranks high on freedom (Vasquez & Por?nik, 2017, p. 5). But with that factor comes a cost. It limits the government’s capability in using resources to ensure public safety. Criminal’s continuously leave tracks behind them, through things such as cellphones and personal computers.
Tracks that can not be uncovered and followed due to privacy regulations, such as the Privacy Act of 1974. While it satisfies civilians, it holds a barrier between law enforcement and criminals. With these rules being removed, the law-abiding population need not worry of those wanting to cause danger. There would be peace of mind among them. However, some would find it unsettling.
At the other side of the spectrum, humans are seen as individuals. They reserve the right of dignity and independence. Some
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Privacy Vs. National Security. (2021, Dec 30).
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