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Is it ethic for the Government to access private online data

 
 
usachin
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 09:30 am
Everything a person voluntarily discloses online is being stored and used to personalize the user “online experience,” but is all this data harmless? Online users have no say on what is harvested from companies when they choose to use their services; there is no opting out of data collection. No privacy policy specifies that user information can be surrendered to governmental agencies at any time without that user’s consent or knowledge, but it has been done. Is this just? Should the Government have unrestricted access to anyone’s data for the sake of national security? Is data freely uploaded to online servers still private? What kind of data can be freely harvested without the user’s consent?
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 979 • Replies: 7
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dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 10:11 am
@usachin,
Usa, good q haunting the 22d century
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 10:16 am
@usachin,
That is the subject and focus of political action groups whose charter to stop such activity in USA. Many many books and articles and studies have been and are being done on this subject.

The simple answer is that it's not ethical. Neither is the gov't performing military actions and wars on nations that are not a direct threat to US and are not authorized by the electorate.
usachin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 10:30 am
@Ragman,
I agree, it is not ethical. We should have our privacy protected but it is commonly violated to the "greater good" and we never know what our data is used for. My mainly question is when would you characterize this action as justified?
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 10:42 am
@usachin,
Government is hardly the largest consumer of online data. Instead it's Google, Yahoo and advertisers focused on reaching persuadable audiences at minimum cost are the largest producers,

I know of no guarantee of privacy or reasonable expectation of it for anything posted on Facewbook or Twitter - indeed both are ostensibly dedicated to wide area broadcast of data posted by users - privacy is the antithesis of their function.

Obamacare now gives government complete access to all details of your health care. Are you concerned about that? I find the evident concern about the government's collection of metadata (call, internet traffic data based on ip address and telephone number) for national security reasons, coupled with apparent indifference ot other sources a bit odd.

I also believe that the question of legality here trumps the question of ethics. Just what ethical principles do you have in mind?

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 10:42 am
@usachin,
We run a risk in 24th century of being subject to thousands of new laws and regs that we can't possibly remember so the safest course is to do nothing. Noting that half of us already depend on Gov't handout, I wonder whether all we'll do is sleep, eat, and watch TV, notwithstanding some new reg about sleeping on your side, eating products from unapproved source, or watching certain kinds of programs
0 Replies
 
usachin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 11:11 am
@georgeob1,
You are right, the legal aspect trumps ethics, I analysed a few theories and concluded that thru deontology it is always considered unethical. And yes, there are larger consumer of online data and we don't usually think too much about who is accessing and what is being used to, we consider all those advertising conveniently related to our preference as normal. But once the snowden leak occurred suddenly there were a influx of opinions on how it is wrong or illegal to gather data, though we routinely surrender this data without second thought. So what are we expect to be kept private anymore?
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 11:26 am
@usachin,
I agree with you about the general privacy issue. Our ability to retain privacy is inexorably assaulted by the very tools we willingly use to ease comminications, awareness of an ever wider array of data, and powerful search tools with which to find it. What happens is that what once was private, or more accurately not easily acessible, data is now easily acessible, and therefore no longer so private.

Snowden broke the law by misusing access he gained as a condition of paid employment to defeat and betray the aims of his country and the employer who was paying him. He can rot in Russia for all I care.
0 Replies
 
 

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