Example research essay topic: Privacy – 466 words

Privacy in the Information Age: I N T R O D U C T
I O N
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———————- The world is changing
rapidly. There used to be a time when we could be
confident that no one could learn too much about
our personal lives. There used to be a time when
information was merely a way of keeping records.
That time is gone and with it went a large amount
of what we might call our personal privacy.
Information about our personal lives has now
become one of the most valued resources on the
market today. The explosion of the computer and
communications industries has created a system
that can store vast amounts of data on an
individual and transmit that information almost
anywhere in a negligible amount of time. More and
more people are gaining access to this information
and the government has been too slow to react to
the changes. As a result, employers, insurance
agencies, law enforcement officers, and
researchers are all lobbying for legislation that
would establish clear rules for the access to this
information.

Each of these groups stand to gain
enormous benefits from legitimizing access to a
broad base of personal information. This
information will be organized into vast databases
that will be maintained by the government, credit
report agencies, the health care industry, and
employers. The system will come to contain
information on virtually every aspect of our
lives, the data will be quickly and efficiently
transferred around the globe via the arising
Global Information Infrastructure, and paper
records sitting in file cabinets will become a
thing of the past. However, considering current
trends, what may be missed the most from the old
system are the locks on those old, rusted file
cabinets. This new system allows for a lot of
access to previously confidential files and we are
already seeing the negative effects that this
system has produced. For example, employers and
insurance companies have begun to discriminate
against individuals based on samplings of a
persons or fetuss DNA.

As genetic testing and the
human genome project advance, there will be an
even greater opportunity for discrimination based
on characteristics or conditions that may, or may
not, arise in an individual’s future. To provide a
background to the discussion, this report will
establish who has access to what information
today. We will also focus on the current debate
over Congressional legislation concerning rules
that would govern access. At each key point in the
discussion significant problems and concerns will
be highlighted. The resolution of these issues
will be discussed in a look at privacy concerns as
a whole in the third section. This third section
will analyze what changes must occur, possible
solutions to various privacy problems, and the
goals that our society hopes to reach.
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Research essay sample on Privacy