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Nowadays Nothing Is Private

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Nowadays nothing is private: our culture has become too confessional and self-expressive. People think that to hide one’s thoughts or feelings is to pretend not to have those thoughts or feelings. They assume that honesty requires one to express every inclination and impulse. Adapted from J. David Velleman, “The Genesis of Shame”

Assignment:
Should people make more of an effort to keep some things private? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Privacy is a much required freedom needed to be adopted and practiced in our modern society. From the tycoons in Wall Street to our own Electronic Mail, disclosure of personal information should be stopped and eluded for one’s own benefit. While surfing through one self’s mail, it is very common that he or she might encounter numerous Spam mails about “Easy Diets” or the famed “Free Ipad” which has perhaps become a cliché by now. One might even occasionally sight the name or the address of the user himself. This rouses a sense of insecurity and anxiety about the other specifics the “sender” has held which can be used against one. The details might vary from Monetary hacking through Credit Card Numbers to Piracy. Such problems need the immediate attention of the cyber police to maintain a more sound and assured environment for the users of the Internet.

Another contemporary incident illustrates the need of privacy as a practice to avoid precarious situations. Rajat Gupta, a renowned businessman, a graduate of Harvard and formerly the Managing Director of McKinsley and Company was arrested for insider trading. Insider trading is the illegal practice of trading on the stock exchange to one’s own advantage through having access to confidential information. In this case, Rajaratnam, an acquaintance of Mr. Gupta, invited the latter to a dinner and supposedly, intimate details discussed in a recent meeting were disclosed in a casual conversation. Rajaratnam took advantage of this and bought shares accordingly to earn profit, without Rajat Gupta’s consent. Such instances illustrate and remind that privacy is not only a right but also a responsibility.

It is evident that privacy can be seen as a freedom needed to be practiced and adopted. Even though it might be ambiguous whether privacy can harm one’s emotional and social status to an extent, it is certain that in the modern capitalist and money driven culture exposition can debilitate one’s position. Deciding when to keep quiet and when not to makes the difference in critical situations.

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