Write a research paper outlining the historical development of privacy and privacy rights in the United States. How far back can you trace it and lay the foundation for where we’re currently at today?
What are the key milestones in the privacy timeline?
Incorporated into your paper should be a discussion of the critical factors leading to the significant growth of the privacy movement, the heightened privacy rights individuals have currently come to demand (and why) and how this all translates to the expectations now placed on businesses to safeguard consumer data and information privacy.
Lastly, discuss the necessity for today’s Economic Crime Professional to understand privacy issues, legal and regulatory privacy requirements and the nuances associated with them.
What, if any, are the penalties businesses face for getting it wrong?! Think broadly, penalties aren’t always financial.
Privacy and Privacy Law
Privacy and Privacy Law
The issue of privacy and privacy laws is a heavily debated one within all sectors of the U.S. While the right is evident in the constitution and has deep roots in history, it seems it becomes harder to maintain privacy as the years go by. Technology has been the greatest contributor to the lack of privacy since most agencies try to take advantage of such powerful tools for personal gain. Cambridge Analytica and Snowden showed how big tech companies and government agencies were willing to access consumer information hence violating privacy. Luckily, the criminal justice system is diligently fighting to ensure the rights of Americans are preserved. Consumer data is a field that most organizations are trying to fight for and protect to ensure their clients are protected from the lack of privacy. This paper evaluates the development of privacy and privacy rights through the course of history to the current point of today, where both the legal and industrial sectors in the United States are striving to hold on to privacy.
One of the oldest constitutional rights within the U.S. is the right to privacy. Dating back to 1961, the U.S. Supreme court found it essential to define its privacy laws as a long term plan for Americans to privilege, such as “the right to be left alone.” It was until 1965 that it formed the basis of the Supreme Court. In the U.S., privacy and privacy rights were formed as a supporting element to the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments (Head, 2019). The right to a free conscience, the right to be secure in oneself, and the right to evade self-incrimination all called got the justice system to introduce privacy into the constitution. There are key milestones that led to the shaping of privacy rights before and after privacy was ingrained in the judicial system. Since the 17th to the 21st Century, privacy issues as a right have been debated and implemented to protect the citizens of America.
Some of the key milestones that contributed to privacy rights include the Bill of Rights, Post-Civil War Amendments, the Privacy Act (1974), and the USA Freedom Act. There is evidence showing that the historical development of privacy and privacy rights has a deep foundation dating back to as far as 1789 when James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights Guarantees. Even though the bill of rights did not specifically mention the right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, it is clear that its intricate details described such a phenomenon (Head, 2019). The Fourth Amendment states that people can be secure from unreasonable search and seizure in their person, papers, effects, and while at their house. The Bill of Rights stands out as one of the key milestones that would result in privacy rights.
Later on, the Post-Civil War Amendments, the Privacy Act (1974), and the USA Freedom Act would define privacy development to lay the foundation for where we are today. After the Civil War, the Bill of Rights was ratified to include protecting people of color and ensuring there was no discrimination for rights based on race (Head, 2019). This approach broadened the scope of privacy, encompassing all races in America to enjoy equal rights. The Privacy Act would later focus on Fair Information Practice considering the increasing development of information technology. To enhance the Privacy Act’s effectiveness, the USA Freedom Act was enacted in 2015 to ensure not even the government could collect information without a warrant or use it to their preference (Head, 2019). The development of privacy and privacy rights in the U.S. has, over the years, evolved to ensure there are transparency and security.
Several factors contribute to the ever-growing need for privacy. Movements by activists are fighting to ensure the long run won’t result in a losing battle. Consumer data and information are constantly being released into the open, making it difficult for individual legal sectors to keep up. Some of the factors that stand out include the diverse context of privacy, situations where privacy protection can detract or enhance from consumer welfare, and finally, consumers’ ability to make their own informed decisions (Acquisiti et al., 2016).
The meaning of privacy is different from various organizations and people. This factor is vital to consider when defining boundaries. creating an all-in-one law may not seem befitiing for all individuals or persons. Privacy movements have demanded organizations to clearly define their privacy terms related to consumers to ensure they do not conflict. While privacy may be defined as the right for someone’s personal space to be left alone, it may also be defined as controlling personal information (Acquisiti et al., 2016). It is very easy for companies to cross boundaries regarding data, as it is not clear who may own or manipulate the data when in a company’s database.
Research has been forced to conclude unambiguously whether privacy protection results in positive or negative change (Acquisiti et al., 2016). There are varying scenarios where individuals may benefit or suffer from privacy protection. An example is the USA Freedom Act (2015) that entails government agencies to request warrants and maintain transparency to the public. As much as Americans deserve privacy, the Freedom Act may compromise the efforts of government initiatives. However, privacy activists have moved to campaign for the Act as they believe transparency is a necessity for Americans. This is still a heavily debated field as most consumers are unable to make informed decisions on their own. Hopefully, the end results will strike a bargain that will consider both the government and individuals’ needs.
After the Cambridge Analytica drama and Snowden revelations, it became clear that organizations needed to invest in Economic Crime Professionals. These scandals showed the magnitude of legal, privacy, and regulatory requirements and the consequences that would threaten an organization. As much as technology is an advantage to the business world, it comes with a lot of responsibility to ensure an organization complies with policies and procedures required to maintain privacy. The Cambridge Analytics and Snowden revelations to the public caused a frenzy that reflected poorly on the government and the big tech companies (Kerry, 2018). The need for a strong Economic Crime Profession ensures that business operations do not get to the extent of privacy breaches and data misuse.
Businesses face penalties such as loss of consumers, bad reputation, and decline in revenues. People today are much sensitive to the privacy and will most likely distance themselves from companies that do not focus on economic crimes. It takes a lot of effort to recover from breach of security, and the law requires organizations to inform their consumers of the threats they experience (Kerry, 2018). Once the public learns of an organization’s inability to uphold security, they tend to have a negative view of the organization. Eradicating bad reputations may be difficult for some organizations. At the same time, businesses may experience a decline in revenues since consumer trust is compromised. The penalties of failing to value consumer information privacy and data reflect poorly on the organization, hence causing penalties beyond financial consequences.
Overall, the legal and industrial sectors need to work hand in hand to guarantee Americans’ safety. The history of privacy in America dates back to the 17th Century, but as the decades pass, it becomes harder to ensure complete privacy over consumer data and information. This has called for the implementation of privacy laws due to constant campaigns by activists. Factors such as diverse contexts, situations, and an inability for consumers to understand privacy have contributed to the rise of privacy movements whose aim is to request for the implementation of appropriate privacy laws. The American constitution supports a right for privacy hence the need for companies to comply with set policies and procedures. Examples of past scandals show how data breaches violate American people’s right and the harm that can be caused when the consumer information is released to the public. Focusing on economic crime profession could aid a business keep track of its legal, privacy, and regulatory requirements. All in all, the U.S. should work tirelessly to ensure American people receive the privacy they deserve as it is a right that has been fought for from the early years of formulating the constitution.
Acquisti, A., Taylor, C., & Wagman, L. (2016). The economics of privacy. Journal of economic Literature, 54(2), 442-92.
Head, T. (2019). Where did the Right to Privacy Come From? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/right-to-privacy-history-721174
Kerry, C. (2018). Why Protecting Privacy is a losing game today –and how to change the game. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/why-protecting-privacy-is-a-losing-game-today-and-how-to-change-the-game/