Privacy: Professing Principles of Digital Ethics and Privacy
Wisdom is the reasoned synthesis and acute application of knowledge to life’s greater goals and meaning. It’s a gift and collective treasure that requires years if not generations of blood, sweat, and tears, trial and error, heroism and tragedy to be honed, survive judgment, and be passed along to new stewards. Wisdom travels from mother to son, father to daughter, teacher to pupil, from master to fellow to apprentice. It is sweetest when given freely and most bitter when taken for granted. We can’t put a price on this invisible commodity. We can only hope to repay those charitable enough to have shared it with us. Professor Anita Allen of UPENN imparts her own special wisdom in lectures on the fundamentals and nuances of privacy. We interviewed her for our book, Tomorrow’s Job’s Today, to learn about how the value of privacy is driving so much of concern around the technology at our fingertips.
“For me, trust has to be earned. It’s not something that can be demanded or pulled out of a drawer and handed over. And the more government or the business sector shows genuine regard and respect for peoples’ privacy in their actions, as well as in their word and policies, the more that trust will come into being.” Dr. Anita L. Allen of UPENN
The following excerpt is from Tomorrow’s Jobs Today.
From the interview
Anita, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was intended to protect Americans from warrantless search and seizure. However, for much of our history, citizens have observed as surveillance has become politically charged and easily abused. How would our founders balance the need for privacy, national security, and the rule of law today?
The fourth amendment is an amazing provision that protects persons from a warrantless search and seizure. It was designed to protect peoples’ correspondence, letters, papers, as well as business documents from disclosure without a warrant. The idea of the government collecting or disclosing sensitive personal information about us was the same then as it is now. The fact that it’s much more efficient to collect information could be described as almost a legal technicality as opposed to a fundamental shift.
I think that while the founding generation couldn’t imagine the fastest computers we all have on our wrists and our desktops today, they could understand entirely the idea that a person’s thoughts and conduct would be placed under government scrutiny. They could see that people would be punished by virtue of government taking advantage of access to documents never intended for them to see. So, I think they could very much appreciate the problem and why it’s so important that we do something to restore some sense of balance between the state and the individual.
To read more about careers like Dr. Anita Allen’s and change your life in the information age, buy the book today!