Privacy & Technology

The rise and advancements in technology has lead to a downfall in terms of privacy in society. It is hard to keep anything personal to a person private anymore due to all social media platforms. Surveillance has also increased in society as a whole.The idea of privacy has changed throughout the ages in dramatic ways due to the era and the societal norms of each period.

Within the oral era privacy and surveillance were not needed as much as in the Post Modern era. During this time, small villages were the main types of communities. All members were familiar with each out and were a close knit group. Trust was established throughout communities and members felt responsible for one another’s well being. They did not have law enforcement as we see it today.

Today in the Post Modern era, privacy and surveillance has become vital to our society. Cities are largely filled with cameras capturing society’s daily actions. Within these large cities, members of society do not know every member because of the large amounts of people and the constant change of people. Through media and computers, no one is ever fully going to have their own privacy. You cannot control who sees your content and who it is shared with because it is published for anyone to see. We are always being watched and do not have a say by who. This idea is referred to as the Panopticon Theory.

The main societal change throughout history that has changed the way society communicates is the development and rise of the Internet. The internet has created the privacy elements of: solitude, secrecy, and anonymity. These three ideas all relate to the idea of privacy. Solitude refers to being alone or isolated. This is something hard to feel in today’s society. Secrecy refers to the state or condition of concealing information. Anonymity is the most new modern element in terms of privacy. This element is referring to portraying yourself in an anonymous matter through the Internet. This specifically has changed digital culture. Online users are not only able to create a persona, they are not liable for their actions online. It has created a different realm of communication and identity.