PUBLIC SECURITY VS. THE RIGHT TO “BE LET ALONE”
Issues of public or national security have spawned many questionable needs such as establishing new information banks and expanding existing databases that collect and retrieve private information about individuals. Such demands are usually based on two grounds: the need to fight criminality on the one hand, and the need to fight terrorism on the other. With regard to these needs, new ideas and suggestions arise on almost a daily basis. This chapter will examine two examples of such demands and reflect on possible implications and consequences of complying with them. The first example is the desire for a comprehensive collection of information about an individual, thus constituting a clear invasion of the private domain. I take the strict rejectionist position on this issue and bring several arguments to support my view. The second example concerns the limited need for access to specific personal information about individuals; in this case I argue for qualified compliance with the iron-clad proviso that close surveillance and control must be maintained over the access to such a database.
KeywordsPersonal Information Public Security Moral Problem Comprehensive Monitoring Intelligence Service
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