Introduction Privacy is a broad concept which cannot be defined with an exact definition

January 24, 2019 Critical Thinking

Privacy is a broad concept which cannot be defined with an exact definition. In general, privacy is a condition of not revealing any sort of information to others. Sometimes, it is defined as a freedom of choosing one’s personal choices, plans and decisions without having any interferences from outsiders 1. It is often defined as an evolving concept which is the crucial point in the modern western life and often get influenced by political and technological features of the society 1. It is an ability of one’s to express themselves and their thoughts without external pressures. Privacy accounts for several types such as physical/accessibility privacy, decisional privacy, psychological/mental privacy and informational privacy 1.
Typically, privacy talks about the rights to act freely, the right too live freely without unwanted harassment and the right to make choices individually 2. There are three key elements supporting privacy such as safeguarding information about oneself, acting anonymously and limiting other’s access to us physically 2. There are some arguments that support privacy as a good thing as it is an intrinsic good, instrumental good and valuable good because it supports other basic rights such as property, freedom and security. Another argument is, it plays a significant role in relationships with each other like friendship, intimacy and trust 2.
Privacy in the context of technological era
Before the development of modern technologies, it was easier to protect privacy or sometimes, it was not a matter of discussion. Technology has come across a lots of development phase to play a key role in making people’s life easier, faster and better. However, with the emergence of innovative technologies, and their opportunities such as the production of newspapers, social networking sites, gossip columns and society pages have created a lot of challenges to people to safeguard their information and create difficulty in maintaining their privacy 2. For example: online activities of an individual such as filling personal information forms to get access to something can be recorded using cookies as most websites don’t ask for permission before recording a cookie 2. The government organizations and commercial organizations such as banks and insurance companies start to collect information about individuals financial and credit history with the development of database technology often lead to the possibilities of affecting privacy negatively 2. Privacy is mostly affected when the connectivity is increased through social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, yahoo, twitter and others to exchange personal information for the benefits of using services 3.
Privacy in the context of celebrities
Privacy has key role in an individual’s life either from workplace to healthcare to commerce to recreation and so on 4. Each human deserves privacy either they are celebrities or normal people. Celebrities are especially those people who are known all over the world and are famous because of their work and who are always under the eyes of social media. They are called public figure because public have more interest on them 5. They are an inspiring character inside the reel and in real life also. Their fans and social media keep eyes on them twenty-four hours to observe their activities: what they eat, what they wear and many more. They are mostly captured in the cover page of various magazines and articles which attract more and more readers who wants to know everything about them. In such case, journalists often share their confidential information just to attract readers which they don’t want to disclose to anyone else. The media want to find everything about the celebrities; their love life, break ups, relationship just to make a big and scandalous news without thinking about their privacy to right. As a celebrity, they have to face a lot of things, they often get criticized in minute things, can’t go out with friends and family to have a cup of coffee, doing shopping and so on. One of the hazardous aspect of social media is paparazzi. Paparazzi has created a threat to the life of a lot of celebrities. Going back to 1997, the world known tragedy was happened to princess Diana who was the victim of paparazzi. She was called “the most hunted person of the modern age” because of her popularity 5. Paparazzi did their best to take her picture and one day Diana gave her life because of paparazzi. she got her car crashed and died immediately 5. Likewise, privacy was violated in case of famous actress Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer is a famous actress who has large fan following all over the world. One day, her iCloud account was hacked by a hacker and her nude pictures were posted elsewhere on the internet 6. With the leaking of her private pictures, she got blamed for posting such pictures and got criticised from her viewers, critics and fans. Paparazzi is really an insane and sometimes curse for the celebrities. In case of Kate Moss, a famous supermodel, paparazzi captured a picture of her doing cocaine and was made viral. After that, she started to loss her name and fame. She got fired from many modelling contracts and entertainment industry started to ignore her and her presence as well. After a while, she came back from that situation but hardly got modelling contracts and was no longer famous as she was before. This way paparazzi ruined her career, name and fame as well 7.
Findings and recommendations
The world we are living now is full of necessary evils such as internet, mobile phones, social media which murdered the living standards and privacy of ordinary people as well as celebrities. Every social beings who can distinguish between the right or wrong should be aware of consequences of this type of exaggeration. Once become the celebrity it is difficult to hide the private life because of the paparazzi who follows them always no matter what to disclose each detail about them. Sometimes, they build the life or sometimes they destroy the life of celebrities. As for instance, if paparazzi make the private image viral that shouldn`t need to be expose then it may hamper their life as well as career and social status too. In this case, they should be aware of doing right or wrong things. As it is hard to build the career of celebrities but more difficult to maintain and easier to destroy. In that case, the person who would be the reason for downfall should have to be punished and even fined because they don`t have such right. In this regard Alexander Graham Bell had a thought that “It is not a right of the people to break someone’s private life just to satisfy the curiosity of others” 8. He also added that “it is not right to cut the part of human for the sake of so called technological advancement” 8. Thus, for the sake of satisfying other or making headlines one shouldn`t play with the life of others viz., celebrity and ordinary common people.
Human beings have their privacy, and everyone needs to respect each other’s privacy. Individual privacy is one of the most important topics in the internet nowadays. Advancement in the information technology has made people life easier on one hand and on the other hand, portend privacy and have increased the possibility of leaking personal information causing negative results such as misuse of one’s information, kidnapping, hacking of social sites, harassment, scamming, blackmailing and so on 4. Weakening of privacy and increasing of power of technology give rise to the concerns about law, policies and ethics 3. There should be strict rules and regulation to be followed by every individual. I believe that a person has a right to a private life no matter what and no matter who they are. Being a celebrity doesn’t mean, you gave up your privacy in the hands of others.

1 K.E. Himma and H. T. Tavani, “Informational Privacy: Concepts, Theories, and Controversies”, in The handbook of information and computer ethics, eds. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2008, ch.6, pp.131-161.
2 M. Donald, “Privacy”, in Ethics in ICT: an Australian perspective, eds. Pearson Higher Education Australia, 2015, ch.4, pp.89-123.
3 Van den et al., “Privacy and Information Technology”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, eds. E. N. Zalta, 2016 (ebook). Online. Available: Accessed: 03- May- 2018.
4 H.T. Tavani, “Privacy and Cyberspace” in Ethics and technology: Controversies, questions, and strategies for ethical computing, 3rd edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011, ch.5, pp.132-172.
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