Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is Social Media Undermining the Right to Privacy?

Too many people post too much stuff about their comings and goings, where they are eating, what they are buying or feeling at every hour of the day. I am not going to comment on the way people choose to share their lives because I engage in social media sites as well, but my concern is the message it sends to kids.

The right to privacy is a constitutional, God, given right that we should cherish. We should be able to live our lives without interference from anyone including and especially government agencies and bureaucrats. The right to privacy is as important as the right to free speech which is greatly improved with the advent of social media. Social media has given a voice to so many more Americans, and it has broken the “log jam” of newspaper editors that used to control the flow of information. But what about protecting our privacy?

In Utah, as we speak, a new DOD data center that is being built in the name of security is going to be capable of watching and spying on every American citizen without their knowledge. In the name of keeping people safe, the federal government is preparing to make our lives less safe and endangering our right to privacy. We will be less safe from the prospect of an over reaching and controlling government. I want to allow the government to track terrorists but at what cost? What information will we allow them to gather on us? And from where we will allow them to gather information on law abiding citizens?

So here is my fear. As kids spew their lives on every social network without an ounce of consideration, how likely will they be willing to protect the rights of privacy and our other constitutional rights? Their willingness to share their information may cloud their judgment on constitutional limits. It will be easier for the younger generation to shrug off as unimportant the ability and reality of government agencies tracking our every move. They are so accustomed to being tracked by friends, why not the government? And not only government, corporations and advocacy groups as well.

Between the lack of civics and history in the public school curriculum, the acceptance of information dumping on social networks, and the ability of federal government to track our every move, what will become of privacy? What will become of our nation? What will become of our Constitution? What will become of our liberty?

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