Amanda Michigan

Invasion of privacy, is it legal?

Americans trust that they have their privacy in their own home; what happens if they find out they're not even allowed that in their own home?

Dear Future President,

According to Webster Dictionary, the invasion of privacy is defined as a situation in which someone fails to respect a person's right to keep certain personal information from being known. Personally, if a person, whether it be a family member, friend, or random stranger, were to invade my privacy in any way, I would be furious. Not only that, but I would be embarrassed, depending on the situation. However, the amount of information that is released by the press or certain websites about a specific person, without said person’s consent, is an invasion of privacy. For example, on Wikileaks, it gives this article, “Assange Medical and Psychological Records”. In this article, it states, “ Today WikiLeaks releases confidential medical and psychological reports concerning our editor Julian Assange’s situation… consists of three documents: a twenty-seven page psycho-social and medical assessment from 10 November 2015, a report from Mr. Assange’s physician from 8 December 2015 and a dentist’s report from 31 July 2015.” This is releasing medical documents from his doctor, which can be very personal, and aren’t supposed to be given out.

Mr. or Mrs. President, people feel that they’re losing their privacy on their own personal devices, such as phones. Recent studies conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that the number of adults who own phones, laptops, or tablets is rising. According to the Pew results, as of May 2013, 91% of American adults own some sort of cell phone and 31% own a tablet. As February 2012, 61% of American adults own a laptop. Over the previous years, the number of ownership has increased. This doesn’t include the amount of teens or kids that also have a phone, or tablet, or laptop. However, many phone companies can access your information on your phone. From, they state, “Government agencies can access to your cell phone records (including call logs and text records) with a subpoena if you're part of or connected to a criminal investigation or a civil lawsuit. Your cell phone company is required by law to comply with subpoenas that request the records.” To me, that makes me feel rather uncomfortable, due to the fact they could look on my phone at any given time, without knowing they’re doing it.

A serious issue that coincides with invasion of privacy is drone use. The Huffington Post had posted a story by Jeb Harrison from 2015, talking about the controversies of drone usage. He states, “The uproar over the prying eyes in the skies has been sparking legal debate over the past year, and is reaching a fever pitch… It hovered for minutes over three women at the water fountain.’” These women could easily have taken the drone operator to court, depending on what his intentions were. Nevertheless, some people could easily call this invasion of privacy, based solely on the fact that the drone was hovering over the women for abnormally too long.

Our 4th amendment to the US Constitution states that people have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search or seizure. With all of the privacy invasion that has been going on the past few years, it doesn’t seem that the government is doing a very good job of respecting our 4th amendment rights. In fact, they’re doing the exact opposite really. They force our phone companies to look up our personal information without our consent, and people with drones have no sense of personal space, or privacy for that matter. As President, it’s YOUR job to make sure that your people feel safe in their own home, and feel respected.

Thank you for your time, yours truly,

Amanda W.

Allen Park High School

APHS Advanced Placement Language and Composition

Allen Park High School is located in Southeastern Michigan. AP Lang studies rhetoric. Additionally, students produce text to narrate, persuade, and inform.

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