The Constitution of the United States of America exists to protect the citizens of this nation from the government. Indeed, the Fourth Amendment states that citizens shall not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures by the government without a warrant. Data mining on college campuses violates this Amendment and is clearly an illegal search. There are soldiers are fighting around the country as I write this, working to keep us safe and protect our liberties that are exclusively found in America. They aren’t risking their lives so the government can have more control over the people, but rather to secure the liberties of every citizen. And while the argument is often made that these searches in the form of data mining are designed to keep us safe, in reality they invade our privacy and our rights.
In Michael Morris’s essay entitled “Mining Student Data Could Save Lives,” it is evident that Morris is in favor of mining student data. For instance, he says by utilizing data mining software, colleges “will surely come much closer to that goal” of preventing crime. Morris argues that due to the fact that there have been so many attacks on college campuses, we should do anything to protect students, even looking at their internet data. But without a 100% detection rate, innocent students will be undoubtedly be victimized by this software and labeled as potential attackers, even if they have done nothing wrong. This violates our right to due process and goes against everything that we stand for as a country.
For me, the argument of privacy vs. security can be a very personal one. Having a father who was in the Marines and countless friends who have served, I often think about young men and women risking their lives for our freedom. Sure we could strictly monitor everything that everyone does, but is that worth neglecting the very freedoms that we worked so hard to earn back in 1776 and defend every day? I do not believe it does. If we were to search everyone’s house then we could find people making bombs before they used them, but first of all that isn’t legal, and second of all that isn’t the way that we want to live. In the argument of privacy vs. security, I strongly disagree with Morris’s argument and firmly stand on the side of privacy and keeping our rights in tact.