Kyle Majka

English I Composition
Professor Probst
May 4th, 2016
Farmers Unite Debate
In todays world, privacy is a very sensitive topic to many people when it comes to their
use of the World Wide Web and the features and applications of such. When you can be
innocently creating a social media profile mindlessly clicking through the accept the conditions
buttons to make the process just that much faster when all the sudden a few weeks later you find
that your credit is ruined and your bank accounts are drained, someone has stolen your identity
from you. This is a very scary reality for people, but whom is to be at fault? The social media
website that released said information or; the mindless drone that decided hand over his sensitive
information and then proceeded to skip over the websites agreement and privacy policies. The
answer is obvious, the party responsible for the leak of information would be the irresponsible
user who hastily skipped through the terms of agreement.
This situation that I have just pitched is nearly identical to the dilemma that Joe Jeffery is
currently experiencing, where one party volunteers to put his personal information online, even
embellishing much of this in order to impress his peers with false statements, all without even
checking the privacy agreements he was about to accept. Then after time, when all of these hasty
and false decisions came around to haunt him, he decides to turn tail and run to the courts
pleading for protection from the consequences of his actions. The idea of this going to court for
him to possibly sue a multimedia company is just absurd, and if it ever did make it to trial, it
would just be a laughing stock of a case. Daniel J Solove, a professor of law and writer of the

article “The End of Privacy?” perfectly states “Today collecting personal information has
become second nature…-For the first time in history nearly anybody can disseminate
information all around the world.” This is clear to everyone now-a-days; otherwise why would
we be putting all of this information up for everyone to see in the first place? With this in mind
how is it reasonable to expect that information stay private and secure when you are going to a
website that’s sole purpose is to share information of yourself to your peers in a fast and efficient
manner. If it is desired to keep information private, why put it out in the open on a public domain
for everyone to see?
Looking at the situation from the other side of the table it could be seen as a breach on
Joe’s privacy with how the company mishandled his information even after Joe called to make a
complaint after his identity was stolen. That is a pretty serious leak of information, at the bare
minimum the company could have deactivated and removed his information from their records
to at least give him some form of protection. Yet 6 months after, the IRS was still able to get
ahold of his information, which should not be possible considering the trouble he went through
to resolve the problem. Yet this whole situation could be merely attributed to the fact that he lied
about his personal information and extent of his annual income, without ever having done that in
the first place none of the unfortunate events would have followed his identity being stolen. In
hindsight, if Joe had a little more concern for his own personal security in place of worry over
his self image he wouldn’t have gotten himself in this rut in the first place.
Having made that conscious decision and accepting to their terms, it would be high
illogical to spend money to bring this to court, would be the same as fighting a contract that you
have signed even though you handed over your rights by doing so. Not to say that this is morally
correct, it is far from it, and is something that the United States surely needs to address and

resolve. In his article, Solove maintains that “Privacy laws elsewhere recognize that revealing
information to others does not extinguish one’s right to privacy. Increasing accessibility of
personal information, however, means that U.S law also should begin to recognizing the need to
safeguard a degree of privacy in the public realm”. Solove is insisting that the United States is
behind the times and in dire need of updating our legal processes to better protect the countless
citizens that are suffering from an invasion of privacy through online means. Yet even before that
is accomplished we also need to better educate ourselves as citizens on how to properly handle
our information and when is an acceptable occasion to give out such information to others. An
excellent way to sum this up would be Adam Gropnik’s short but eloquent statement “the real
demon in the machine is the tirelessness of the user.” In other words, online services cannot be
blamed and made out as the bad guy in these sorts of situations. For it is our own careless
mistakes, as users of these services, that are allowing these atrocities to happen.
James Gleick states in his article, How Google dominates us, “The company always says
users can “opt out” of many of its forms of data collection, which is true, up to a point, for savvy
computer users- “. James’ point here is to emphasize that the option to opt out of sharing ones
personal information does in fact exist, but it most likely would not be the easiest task for your
every day internet user to accomplish. As long as threats to privacy such as these exist, our
society needs to keep working towards the goal of developing a new and improved
understanding of the differences between public and private life, one that acknowledges that
there’s no real way to avoid the sharing of information while using the internet yet also
understands and protects an individual’s decision of how his/her information will be shared.
Without an extreme overhaul to the way our legal processes currently stand with regards to
privacy, Joe should not win this case. This entire scenario can be chalked up to tireless user error,

and with the agreement to the websites terms of use still in effect there is nothing that Joe can
really do to change the outcome of what has already happened.

Works Cited
Gleick, James. "How Google Dominates Us." The New York Review of Books. NY Rev, Inc., 18 Aug.
2011. Web. 09 May 2016.
<http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/08/18/how-google-dominates-us/>.
Gopnik, Adam. "The Information: How the Internet Gets Inside Us." The New Yorker. The New Yorker,
06 Feb. 2011. Web. 09 May 2016. <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/02/14/theinformation>.
Solove, Daniel J. "The End of Privacy." Scientific American 299.3 (2008): 100-06. Scientific American.
Springer Nature, 1 Sept. 2008. Web. 09 May 2016.
<http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-social-networks-bring/>.

Part 2 & 4 Self Review and Comparison:
1)

Overall I thought I had a pretty decent thesis, one that was arguable and was rather clear to the
reader. However, after Aaron telling me that it wasn’t clear enough I readdressed the wording and
decided to make my stance a whole lot more evident which should help my paper.

2)

I believe my supporting paragraphs were completely relevant to me thesis, all giving great
supporting points where they are needed. Aarons only suggestion was to make my thesis clearer
and once I did that the other problem was resolved as well.

3)

Overall I established the problem of privacy invasion and user error very clearly and multiple
times throughout my article and Aaron agreed so there wasn’t much of a difference of opinion
there.

4)

I thought I established credibility very well, stating at how experience Solove was as a writer and
that he had a law degree. Also used multiple different sources to support my stance, another fact
that me and Aaron agreed upon.

5)

Neither Aaron or myself found any notable logical fallacies within my writing.

6)

Both me and Aaron agreed that the quote towards the end of my second body paragraph could
use a little more of an explanation to show its relevance to my argument, something that I fixed.

7)

Aaron gave me a few tips on wording for my counter argument and said that it was pathos heavy
which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing which I agreed upon and came to the same conclusion on my
own.

8)

Aaron made the suggestion that I should change the organization of my paper from Argument –
Argument – Counter argument to Argument-Counter Argument- Argument. Initially I didn’t see the
point but after reading over my work a bit it made since so I changed it.

9)

Overall he just said I should explain my second quote more and that was it, something that I
agreed upon and quickly changed.

10)

Arron’s overall suggestion was for me to just further elaborate on my argument, which was
something that I really struggled with for I had a hard time connecting with this topic and scenario.

I tried my best and got what I could done yet not much length was added to my paper yet I still
think it is a pretty solid work of writing.