Alan Westin's Privacy And Freedom

729 Words 3 Pages
Looking at the work from Alan Westin and the firefox plug-in light beam as a modern-day application of his message, it became clear that Westin wrote his work, Privacy and Freedom, as a form of philosophical science fiction. His work was more philosophy than science fiction as he likely had no idea of how much people would willingly give up privacy for the sake of being connected. As a prediction of where people are going, it is likely that we will continue to give up personal privacy for the improvement of technology for the sake of convenience. First is why Westin’s work was more philosophy than science fiction. It has been established that science fiction often is an expression of human nature using spaceships and lasers as a background. In Privacy and Freedom, the work does not use any fictional cover and instead just outright states that knowledge is power and that data collecting is a fact of our time. There was no what-if scenario involved in the work. His first passage especially delves into human love of both privacy and social interaction. His definition of privacy has this key phrase, “Privacy is the claim of individuals…to determine for themselves when…information about them is communicated to others.” …show more content…
While corporations are made up of people who are also subject to these conditions, the vast web of data sharing, seen by lightbeam, would be impossible to unravel. Similar to the film, Brazil, no one institution will be in control, so unless everyone and everything agrees to roll back the interconnection, it will not happen. Many in society today grew up with this surveillance, so it will seem normal to have it everywhere they go and will have no understanding of privacy. Westin lived in a world with privacy and a fear of losing it to technology. People today are born into a world with technology all around them, and that technology links them to the rest of the world from a very early

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