The Newseum’s “Voice your Opinion” poster on privacy versus security definitely drew some interesting opinions. While some chose not to take the activity seriously, some of the insight was actually very constructive.
On the security side, most people did not elaborate on their statement. I read a few that were essentially, “Give up privacy for security.” There were also several hipster comments that were about spreading love and not evil/hate. Two particular comments stood out to me, however. One stated to “take away as much as necessary to feel safe,” and the other stated, “Everything, we have nothing to hide.” The first thing that I would love to know is, who made the comment? What background do they come from? Have they always lived in the United States? I feel like one’s upbringing has much to do with formulating an opinion on this matter. Regardless though, these two comments really shocked me because I find it very hard to believe anyone would be okay with the government having total control. In my opinion, the first comment is very nieve. There is literally a part of our brain, called the amygdala, that processes emotions such as fear. I wonder if this person would next suggest that we sever this part of our brain until we do not “feel” at all. There is no way to totally prevent uncertain/unfavorable emotions such as safety – even in a Utopia.
The privacy comments on the poster were equally as interesting. For instance, one person said, “Living life is an honor, don’t take our freedom away.” I appreciated this quote for its simplicity. Life really is a privilege, but one can only take advantage of it if they are free to do so. Which ties into Benjamin Franklin quote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” This quote is very interesting because he had no way of knowing anything about technology, yet he created such an iconic phrase that can be applied to it.