What could be a thesis statement for an critical thinking research paper based on privacy issues on technology?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one particular research paper could focus on how privacy issues with technology have changed over time.  You could focus a thesis statement on how the view of privacy has changed over the last decade or so.  With a greater emphasis on Twitter, instagram, and other forms of social media where people post so much about themselves, it might be interesting to focus on how privacy issues have become fundamentally different in the domain of technology.  There used to be a shared fear that "big brother is watching you."  However, when individuals post so much of themselves in the realm of social media, it might be interesting to examine how privacy, as a concept, is fundamentally different than it has been.  If everything is public, then where is the line of privacy? At the same time, if people like the convenience aspect, for example shopping profiles and online deals or tailor making web searches to reflect individual tastes, how does this fit in the construction of "privacy?" Perhaps, what we know as "privacy" as a definition must change in the midst of tailoring web browsing habits to individual preference and sensibility. It might be interesting to focus on this as a thesis statement because it forces reexamination of the issue.

I think that it might be interesting to discuss how a generation under the watchful eye of increased government monitoring might view privacy fundamentally different than previous generations.  With the construction of the Patriot Act, a post- 9/11 world where privacy was viewed in light of the "public good," and increased use of drone technology without great opposition, perhaps young people simply view privacy in a different light. Theorist Noam Chomsky put forth this argument:

"Polls in the US indicate there is generational issue here that someone ought to look into – my impression is that younger people are less offended by this than the older generation. It may have to do with the exhibitionist character of the internet culture, with Facebook and so on...On the internet, you think everything is going to be public."

Spending some time examining how the modern setting has changed the understanding of "privacy and technology" could lend to a reflective critical thinking research paper that probes its fluid construction.

As technology becomes more mobile and more "wearable" with wristwatches, glasses, and body cameras, it might be interesting to examine how privacy issues are altered in the midst of such new realities.  Where does the line of privacy lie when technology is wearable, literally attached to one's self?  I think that being able to explore the realm of wearable technology and the role of privacy within such a reality might form another interesting thesis statement.  Seeing how wearable technology is a rapidly growing field, a thesis statement that discusses its role in the privacy paradigm would be quite timely.