Privacy is the concern of many Americans. In his article “Privacy Is Overrated”, David Plotz presents his vision of the issue of privacy in the American society. The author starts with listing the aspects about his private life which cannot be hidden and can be checked by any company or person. However, Plotz belongs to the minority of people who perceive this fact as normal and do not suffer from the ‘privacy paranoia’ (Plotz).
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The author is not preoccupied with the aspect of privacy in contrast to many other people who care about the intrusion into privacy. Plotz focuses on several ways in relation to which authorities and companies can realize intrusion into privacy. The author pays attention to the Defense Department’s Office of Total Information Awareness which intends to record the confidential data to prevent terroristic acts. People are against the procedure.
However, Plotz states that this concern is based on hypocrisy paranoia when people protect their personal data, but they also want to know personal information about the others. Thus, the author lists several flaws of privacy focusing on benefits of lack of privacy. Companies really do not care about people’s personal life but they are ignorant. Moreover, crimes can be fought. Plotz concludes that lack of privacy leads to openness, but not to intrusion into privacy (Plotz).
It is possible to agree with the position of the author on the issue of privacy because the lack of confidentiality and privacy is the characteristic feature of the modern world and it is rather difficult to oppose to the well-developed system of recording the personal data at the governmental level with references to privacy protection movements. The next reason to support the idea presented by Plotz is the fact that a lot of recorded and stored data are used by many companies to make the everyday routine activities of the Americans easier and make the life more convenient. Furthermore, one more point is the fact that the lack of privacy in the form of using street cameras, computer search programs, and available credit histories is significant for the effective work of police or other law enforcement agencies.
People’s complaints about the lack of privacy became typical today. However, many persons begin to understand the advantages of the situation. That is why, it is rather irrational to oppose the tendency which became the modern reality, especially when the lack of privacy provides a lot of benefits for the development of the American society.
Moreover, referring to Plotz’s idea that many people want to check the personal data and story of their baby-sitters, it is possible to state that the Americans accepted the possibility to check the data related to the other people, and they are ready to use the advantages of this opportunity, but people are rather hypocritical in relation to their own private information.
Plotz also develops the idea of openness as the concept opposite to privacy (Plotz). From this perspective, openness cannot be threatening for people, but it can contribute to uniting the society.
Every day millions of Americans buy different goods and products using markets and online resources. It is rather easier when companies propose their customers goods according to their personal preferences and can save their time and money proposing appropriate variants. These services are possible if a lot of private information is gathered and analyzed in order to respond to the customers’ expectations. The lack of privacy is the necessary stage in the development of modern consumerist society.
From this point, people’s everyday routine activities become less time-consuming and more effective. In reality, companies are oriented to using the stored data for their business purposes (Goshgarian). Thus, companies do not develop strategies to intrude into the lives of clients to do harm. Moreover, such companies can prevent doing any harm to the persons’ finances when the unusual financial activities are observed.
The next advantage of availability of information which was discussed as confidential earlier is its role for police and other law enforcement agencies. To find a criminal, policemen investigate the volumes of personal information and identify personalities of criminals. Moreover, the systems which are used to gather and store personal information can also work to contribute to the legal procedures.
Thus, the new approach when personal data should be available to law enforcement agencies can be discussed as advantageous to fight terrorism and crime. In spite of the fact a lot of people state that the usage of the recorded private data can be discussed as intrusion into privacy and the violation of definite laws on confidentiality, these people are ready to agree with the actions of authorities when the access to private information is necessary for them to assist in overcoming definite problems.
Looking at the issue from the other perspective, it is possible to agree that authorities and law enforcement agencies gather the private data not to limit and control people, but to regulate the order and protect the society.
Goshgarian, Gary. What Matters in America. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.
Plotz, David. “Privacy Is Overrated”. GQ: Gentlemen’s Quarterly 71.9 (2001): 224-225. Print.