Right to Privacy in US Constitution
Right to privacy is one of the fundamental components of US constitution. Although right from the First Amendment, citizens are subtly granted privacy rights, the formal and clear clause is included in Fourth Amendment. The clause gives privilege to people to keep their privacies and liberties intact. Furthermore, it denounces the unjustified searches of the subject’s belongings and apprehension(Bernal, 2014). There was no internet at the time of the amendment, so some opinions view that it does not extend to the internet. However, online information is equally essential to secure as others since online data is extremely vulnerable to misuse.
The large corporations such as Facebook were found involved in a violation of civil rights, as the users’ data was sold to Cambridge Analytica, without the consent of the users (“The Cambridge Analytica saga is a scandal of Facebook’s own making,” 2018). The constitution does not allow anyone to misuse personal data of an individual for personal usage, as it comes under data theft and privacy violation. It is the responsibility of the government and the law enforcement authorities to look after all such violations and secure the data of the people. The state and federal privacy efforts must be enhanced to get hold of any such issues related to data theft of privacy violation. The right to privacy is often referred to like the concept that an individual’s personal information must be kept protected from all kinds of public scrutiny and no one must be allowed to get access to it until the person himself/herself allows others to view or use it.
The healthcare institutions must also take good measures to secure the patients’ information, as it can be misused by the authorities; if proper check and balance are not maintained. There are some amendments to the U.S Constitution that provide several kinds of data protection to the technology users, but these are not explicitly mentioned in the constitution. The right to privacy is a term that is more often referred and protected by the statutory law. For instance, the HIPPA act was established just to secure an individual’s health records and also FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Act was specifically made to ensure the right to privacy through several privacy statements and privacy policies. The government authorities and the law enforcement agencies must improve their measures to get hold of such huge corporations that are violating the right to privacy of large populations at a global pace. The right to privacy is often referred to the right to personal autonomy.
The use of data by Cambridge Analytica is extremely unlawful since it did not only violated the privacy of users, but it managed to use it to manipulate voters too. Thus, national security is put to the stake with such a malign intent. The use of person’s attribute to define a person is not wrong and can be used to research behaviors. However, using data to shape people’s opinion by sharing information with them that may change one’s viewpoint is immensely unethical (Cate & Litan, 2002).
The breach of privacies, whether online or not, should be dealt with iron fist. The department or the firm involved should be penalized with a considerable amount of fine, and in extreme situations, the subject should be barred too from operation as long as the viable amendment is made. The victims should be compensated with an appropriate amount of money, and the sold data should be destroyed at purchasers’ end under surveillance of independent bodies. Moreover, it should be left to the victims to decide through a referendum if the violators should be allowed to continue or not. The privacy campaigns in the recent times have taken the world by storm, and the concerns of people should be settled precisely and effectively.
Bernal, P. (2014). Internet privacy rights: rights to protect autonomy (No. 24). Cambridge University Press.
Cate, F. H., & Litan, R. (2002). Constitutional issues in information privacy. Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev., 9, 35.
The Cambridge Analytica saga is a scandal of Facebook’s own making. (2018). www.theguardian.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/21/cambridge-analytica-facebook-data-users-profit