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In order to write an introduction to this subject, we will need to know what your thesis is or at least what your argument is going to be.
Will you argue that privacy is respected to a great extent? Will you argue that respect for privacy is fairly balanced against commercial and federal needs? Or will you argue that the individual's right to privacy has been supplanted by corporate, commercial, academic and federal interests?
Some items from the news might fit into your introduction, such as the US congress passing legislation in 2012 that will allow domestic use of surveillance drones in the United States in the coming years. You might discuss airport security as it has changed since 2001 with tighter and more invasive measures of security. You might discuss the various modes of tracking your use of the internet through cookies and things of that sort (a mode of tracking used quite widely to gather information).
You might also discuss new rules being contemplated about how to regulate what information is legal to gather from children's use of the internet and what is not (or how much information is appropriate to gather from minors by commercial interests).
Many more methods of collecting data serve to diminish certain kinds of privacy of citizens.
Databases across the country collect little pieces of data about us every time we use our credit cards, make a telephone call, and send or receive e-mail.
What, exactly, constitutes privacy? Is it the right to not be bothered in the home by robot calls? (Legislation has been passed in the US to put a stop to most robot phone calls.) Or is it the right to protect any and all information regarding personal behavior, at home, in the market place, and on-line?
A likely argument in this debate suggests that commercial interests have, to some extent, eroded actual personal privacy. A pertinent question in this debate asks to what extent anonymity is or can be maintained in light of all the data collection that goes on. If a person's information is not tied to them by name, but instead is pooled into a "demographic file", as is sometimes argued, then is privacy being infringed upon?
Alternatively, how anonymous is a file that contains thousands of bits of data yet simply lacks a name? If they know how you shop, where you live, and how often you talk on the phone, do they need a name on the file to be considered invasive as regards personal privacy?
It should be rather easy to demonstrate a growing sense that business and government have a "right to data collection" that is in conflict with an individual's right to privacy. However, there are arguments to be made that we have as much privacy today as ever, as we may be shielded or camouflaged to a degree by the vast amount of data out there.
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