I think privacy has probably been an issue since humanity created the front door. It is an issue of security, It is difficult to feel safe in one’s own skin when you know you’re being watched, or when your information is available for anyone to look at, just as one might feel insecure with their front door wide open. That being said I technology has made a lot more doors that could proverbially be left open, and once someone has entered through one of these doors, it isn’t difficult for them to claim that they own the whole house. Still, I think that there are both good and bad sides to the digital age of privacy.
It may be difficult to imagine a world in which there is no internet, computers, or phones, but in a such world we would be without ways of backing up or guaranteeing our property. Using the house metaphor from before, anyone could literally walk into your home and claim it was theirs. They could claim your wealth, your property, they could probably claim your identity if you didn’t have any close friends or family. So in a sense, although technology certainly takes away some levels of privacy, it also adds some level of security, by guaranteeing your identity.
I certainly feel as though the impact technology has had on our privacy has been a negative one, I think it has contributed significantly to breeding paranoia, but I also have to keep in mind that humans are paranoid animals by nature. I think it is very strange that we go to the extent that we do for things like “academic integrity”, as thought the already flawed institution of should take president over rights guaranteed to us by law, but I think such things would be the case with or without technology to influence our decisions. I think technology simply serves to amplify our inherent behavior. We are inherently paranoid so we conduct a digital strip search to make sure someone isn’t giving themselves an unfair advantage. We are hateful creatures so we use technology to spread hate and consume hate. But we’re also capable of great love and understanding, creation and protection, so we use technology for this as well, and it help to give us a sense of security.