Privacy, secrecy and security

Ethics and Information Technology 3 (1):13-19 (2001)
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I will argue that one class of issues in computer ethics oftenassociated with privacy and a putative right to privacy isbest-analyzed in terms that make no substantive reference toprivacy at all. These issues concern the way that networkedinformation technology creates new ways in which conventionalrights to personal security can be threatened. However onechooses to analyze rights, rights to secure person and propertywill be among the most basic, the least controversial, and themost universally recognized. A risk-based approach to theseissues provides a clearer statement of what is ethicallyimportant, as well as what is ethically problematic. Once theissues of security have been articulated clearly, it becomespossible to make out genuine issues of privacy in contrast tothem.



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Paul B. Thompson
Michigan State University

References found in this work

Why privacy is important.James Rachels - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 4 (4):323-333.
The ethics of truth-telling and the problem of risk.Paul B. Thompson - 1999 - Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (4):489-510.

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