People go to great lengths to protect their privacy. Some will build high walls around their domain to ensure their privacy. Others will situate their homes on mountain tops or in deep forests or miles off main roads in order to be left alone.
City dwellers may rent apartments on the highest floors, have unlisted phone numbers, and conceal identities by using aliases or by wearing disguises.
Privacy means different things to different people. A wife may wish time alone with her husband. Husbands, too, at times may insist on their own “time and space.” Even young children desire their privacy. Often a room of their own represents a haven of privacy.
There are those who would put a tap on your telephone and listen to your most private and intimate conversations in your home or office. Your every move can be monitored in locker rooms of schools, factories, and offices and recorded on videotape.
By the use of laser beams aimed at the outside of your windowpanes, your conversations within can be picked up and recorded by eavesdroppers down the street. Computers are now being used to monitor your activities in the workplace.
What you write on your office computer may now be read on a monitor miles away by those who would hold against you the things you write. Neither is the cover of darkness a guarantee of privacy. With cameras that function effectively in the dark, your every move can be tracked while you walk around outside at night.
If you resent your spouse opening the mail addressed to you, what would be your reaction to those who would trespass on your privacy by reading your e-mail by hacking it? or facebook account?
You may resent being asked to take a lie-detector test in order to secure employment. But a similar test may be given you across the desk by an interviewer—without your being aware of it—through the use of a voice analyzer, which supposedly can recognize if you are not telling the truth. Businesses and giant corporations are losing top secrets through an invasion of privacy by unscrupulous competitors.
One manufacturer of the software that makes this surveillance possible says: “It permits total surveillance of all users, all of the time.” Reports coming out of the workplace indicate that the boast is not an idle one. “I can’t even go to the bathroom without being watched,” complained one telephone operator.
A director of a national association of working women said, “Many employer practices are an outrageous invasion of privacy.” “You’re a nervous wreck. The stress is incredible,” said another enraged worker. “It’s a very oppressive way to work. Is it any wonder when the “screen” you have been working with turns on you, berating you with the flashing words, “You’re not working as fast as the person next to you.” Is privacy in the workplace slipping through labor’s fingers?
As a result of high-tech surveillance systems developed in recent years, nations and world powers find it almost impossible not to have their national privacy invaded by other nations worlds away. Spy-in-the-sky satellites equipped with high-resolution cameras can photograph from outer space as small a thing as a baseball and can identify a man in a crowd merely by the shape of his beard.
So this few examples highlight the fundamental fact that privacy will still remain a contentious issue, as technology continues to evolve and advance, present new challenges to your privacy.