With the migration of more personal information online via social networking sites, should Congress pass a law to protect citizens’ privacy online? Why or why not?

Below you will find a link to an audio/radio interview with author Julia Angwin, who wrote Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom.  She discusses this book on the radio show known as “Fresh Air”.  This discussion addresses the lack of privacy in our use of technology as it relates to the government and private companies. Legally speaking, there is a U.S. Constitutional right to privacy from the government, but not necessarily from private entities.  However, private entities can be held liable (legally responsible) for violating contractual rights that guarantee privacy between the consumer and the company.  Private corporate behavior is also relevant as it relates to the public’s interest in developing public policy (law) to regulate such behavior.  And of course, the government’s role in identifying the behavior of its citizens has become very threatening to those who believe privacy from the government is a cornerstone of democracy.

Privacy Assignment

Please listen to the radio interview linked/embeded below.  Also, read page 146 of the textbook to reinforce the content of the radio interview.  Once you have done this, please answer the following questions:

  1. What is the origin and history of constitutional privacy rights in this country?  (Refer to Chapter #4 of the textbook for this question.)
  2. With the migration of more personal information online via social networking sites, should Congress pass a law to protect citizens’ privacy online?  Why or why not?
  3. How does a right to privacy differ from our other constitutionally protected rights?
  4. Does the use of online technology compromise (i.e., threaten and reduce) the specific constitutionally protected privacy rights recognized by the Supreme Court?  (Right to Die; Sexual Behavior; Abortion; Birth Control etc…)  How could online technology eventually compromise these rights, if at all?  (In your opinion.)

Please submit your answers to these questions in the submission window found within this assignment.  Here is the radio interview link:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?318269-1/dragnet-nation