Theory Of Privacy In The Information Age

Great Essays
In “Towards a Theory of Privacy in the information Age,” James H. Moor explains greased information, the foundation and nature of privacy, and the adjustment of policies to ensure privacy under certain situations before proposing a control/restricted access theory of privacy. Moor argues that one of the problems of privacy is that once information is exposed, others can have access to it and use it, sometimes without consent. He then claims that privacy is not a core value, or an essential value shared by all cultures, but that privacy is indeed essential in what he calls our system of values. Overall, Moor argues that it is important for us to think of privacy as a control/restricted access account because it encourages informed consent and …show more content…
He then introduces instrumental and intrinsic values and tries to use these two types of values to justify privacy. He discusses how some people believe privacy has both instrumental and intrinsic value, and how some of these people have tried to justify privacy’s intrinsic value by saying that privacy is required in order to have autonomy. Though he agrees that privacy has instrumental value, he proves that privacy does not have intrinsic value and that is not essential for autonomy by providing a scenario where Tom, a stalker, collects information about a specific individual but does not use his knowledge or the information to cause the individual any harm. He explains how in the example Tom is in fact invading the individual’s privacy but that the individual still has complete autonomy. As a result, he introduces the core values, which consist of life, happiness, freedom, knowledge, ability, resources, and security, which he uses to justify the importance of privacy. He explains how privacy is not part of the core values, but that it is necessary to achieve security, which is a core value, and states, “people have a basic right to be protected, which from the point of view of our computerized culture, includes privacy protection.” …show more content…
He discusses how privacy was nowhere in the U.S. Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution because the concept of privacy has been evolving from one thing to the other, starting at the concept of non-intrusion. He introduces natural and normative privacy to explain how we need “zones of privacy” where our information is protected since it would allow us to decide what information we want to make public or keep private. He clarifies that the concept of privacy is not just about the information itself but also about the circumstances where the information was collected or transmitted. He provides an example where private information is accessible to people under certain circumstances, in this case an IRS employee, and how during working hours they have the legal right to look into the files and information of individuals, but that if they were to do that outside of work, then they would be invading someone’s privacy. He then proposes a version of the restricted access view of privacy, where we control information about ourselves and “the right people and only the right people” have access to our information if needed, when needed. He then explains how his idea of control/restricted access accounts work and their advantages. Overall, he claims that it is important for us to think of privacy as a control/restricted access account because

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