Privacy Since the Advent of Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

While the TSA claims that privacy rights are not violated by the use of full body scanners, many passengers disagree, as do many in the human rights community. A United Nations special rapporteur on the protection of human rights points out that recording details of private parts was an especially egregious human rights violation. In particular it was noted that women, people of certain religions and certain cultural backgrounds would likely find the procedure and the notion of their bodies being recorded to be offensive (Agence France-Press, 2010).

There are two dimensions on which the privacy issue surrounding airport screening procedures can be evaluated. The first is the legal issue. The Privacy Act itself offers little direct guidance with respect to airport screening. The Act's emphasis is more on the control of information that comes from the activities of government agencies than on collection of the information itself. As such, the Privacy Act does not appear to set any definitions or limitations on what information can be collected. The collection of video or image records, for example, is not governed by this Act. The Act does govern the management of these records, however. The TSA would be subject to specific provisions with regards to the maintenance of any record from the full body screening procedure. The agency would be limited with respect to its ability to share the data. Most certainly, the leak of any image files to the public would violate the Privacy Act. This addresses one concern that exists, but does not address the risk of unprofessional behavior on the part of agents, sharing images among themselves or viewing the images beyond the course of duty.

The other dimension along which airport screening can be evaluated in terms of privacy is the ethical dimension. The TSA's viewpoint that full body scans are harmless and any privacy concerns are outweighed by security concerns is a utilitarian perspective. However, this view is not shared by many Americans. For many, the ethics of the scans are dictated by cultural norms. The protection of one's individual privacy is considered to be a strong American value, the result of the cultural emphasis on individualism.

It is this cultural norm by which most Americans determine the ethics of privacy. In many ethical philosophies, it is the cultural norms that define the ethics of an action. Under these philosophies, the outcomes of the action are subordinated to the ethics of the action itself. While the TSA operates on a "greatest good for the greatest number" principle, many Americans do not ascribe to that philosophy. They place individual privacy ahead of the greater good. For those people, airport security techniques, in particular the use of full body scans, represents a gross violation of the cultural norms with respect to personal privacy.

Every country and every airport is fit to set whatever security parameters they wish. Whereas one can reasonably argue that privacy is a right as dictated by the norms of American culture, air travel is not such a right. The decision to fly comes down to individual choice. There is no need to demand consistency in security procedures across all airports, as each airport and each transportation administration uses security techniques to meet its own unique set of objectives. If an airport chooses to violate privacy, then the airport has reached that decision by weighing the consequences of each potential action.

Individuals, however, have the right to choose whether or not to subject themselves to these privacy violations. It must be understood that while full body screening does appear to violate privacy according to the ethics of many Americans, they have a choice as to whether or not they wish to subject themselves to his procedure. Ultimately, if one's privacy is being violated, it is because they chose to submit themselves to such a violation.

Works Cited:

Hofstede, G. (2009). Cultural dimensions: United States. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from

Privacy Act of 1974. 5 U.S.C. § 552a. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from

Rucker, P. (2010) TSA tries to assuage privacy concerns about full-body scans. Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from

Agence France-Press. (2010). Airport body scans breach rights: UN export. The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Privacy Since The Advent Of" (2010, March 13) Retrieved October 26, 2016, from

"Privacy Since The Advent Of" 13 March 2010. Web.26 October. 2016. <>

"Privacy Since The Advent Of", 13 March 2010, Accessed.26 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Privacy Notices

    Privacy By law, majority of business institutions are required to provide their customers with information regarding their privacy policies on an annual basis. Business institutions are prohibited from sharing nonpublic personally identifiable customer information with non- affiliated third parties, unless consumers are clearly provided with an opportunity to opt-out. However, there have been concerns among people, as the opt-out process is time consuming for many individuals and in some cases privacy

  • Employee Privacy Torts

    Employee Privacy Torts Issues relating to employee privacy have been at the forefront of businesses for many years. This has been fuelled by the dynamic workplace which changes constantly and also by employees and employers being more litigation-conscious. Technology has also spurred on employee privacy issues with e-mail and the internet being related to heightened concerns about vulnerability of employers to litigation. Many employers have thus exacerbated their concerns relating to

  • Privacy What Happens to Privacy

    As will be discussed, this has serious implications for security issues on both a personal, organizational and corporate level. A central concern is that, as the number of users increase online so does the potential threat of invasion of privacy in many insidious forms. This can lead to serious ethical infringements of privacy, such as fraud and identity theft. As Miyazaki, and Fernandez ( 2001) emphasize; This rapid growth (of the

  • Social Networking Privacy Online Privacy

    But research is very mixed on what that answer is when the data is voluntarily revealed. For example, if someone "likes" Apple on Facebook and Apple then in turn markets Apple products to that person, it should be asked whether Apple is acting improperly. Companies with products that compete with Apple could do the same thing. Research bears out that this question comes down to personal and professional ethics

  • Nursing Research HIPAA Proposal Patient Privacy Protection

    Nursing Research HIPAA Proposal Patient privacy protection is a cornerstone of any patient bill of rights and is a major goal of any nurse or medical professional. Without privacy, the basis of trust necessary to facilitate patient healing simply can not occur. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) increasingly dominates the nursing landscape. Safeguarding private patient information is not just important. It is the law. HIPAA provides

  • Students Email Usage and Student

    This research will fill in a gap that was discovered in the literature review. There have been many, even in an academic setting, that have made comments regarding the effects of email on the student environment. However, there have been no significant studies to substantiate these claims. This study will fill in the existing gap in research and will examine the actual importance of email to the academic setting. Chapter

  • Civil Liberties Post September 11th September

    T) he FBI can now act like a domestic CIA when seeking a criminal conviction. It can obtain a secret warrant from a secret court to gather evidence of crime without ever having to present to the court evidence that the person upon whom it wishes to spy is involved in crime. Moreover, evidence gathered in criminal case can now be more easily shared - without a court order -

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved