The first implications of infringement of people’s rights when it came to their data privacy began as early as the 1960s (Neuroth, 2017). With the early digitalization of federal information, many guidelines were discussed and implemented, with Congress even passing data privacy legislation. However, the weighing of the advantages and disadvantages continues to this day with even more factors coming into play such as data collected by corporations (Finklea, 2016). A worrying element of the debate includes who has the power to encrypt or decrypt personal data, which can be used to protect citizens but could just as easily be turned against them. This can be seen in cases where law enforcement may demand personal information or private communications in the name of national security, while tech communities or industries advocate encrypting the user’s data to their best ability and preserving their rights to privacy (Sircar, 2017).
As a student in an age where technology provided to me daily is substantially more advanced, I am very intrigued by a discussion held in educational and workplace environments regarding the significant data collection I am accumulating. In the near future, and possibly even in the current day, the processes by which data collection, storage, safety, and privacy are monitored are evolving (Amirault, 2019). I think that legislation and policies concerning these issues are outdated and are not diverse enough to account for all the changes that take place daily within the digital spaces of corporations, educational facilities, and government-maintained spaces. There have been many apps that have formed systems to let users know whether they have been in the proximity of an individual with COVID-19 without revealing their identity (Liu et al., 2020). I think that such software is the solution to restrict the information the government or corporations can access without denying them total access to data.
Between September of 2018 and the summer of 2019, an outbreak of measles was recorded with serious cases of rashes and a majority of the infected being unvaccinated children (Zucker et al., 2020). Pneumonia and hospitalization were very prevalent and the situation was detrimental to the local area but did promote the importance of vaccination. With the current climate of public health, the discourse concerning vaccination is understandable, however, I am personally always in support of mass inoculation. A study that observed the process of the influenza vaccine was able to discern a multitude of additional advantages such as reduction in antibiotic prescriptions, drug costs, and AMR development (Esposito & Principi, 2018).
Not all countries are currently able to provide access to COVID-19 vaccination and with its still-developing status, certain people may be hesitant to get vaccinated. I think we can learn from countries with substantial roll-out numbers like Israel, where every one in ten people was able to get vaccinated by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within the first two weeks of the arrival of the drug (McKee & Rajan, 2021). I think that following a similar tactic is essential in ensuring the safety of those that are in high-risk categories in relation to COVID-19 in the US. Primarily, the issue would be to fund and distribute this kind of vaccine package. Those that refuse the vaccine may benefit from the herd immunity of others.
I find that bio-fabrication has the potential to ease a myriad of medical processes. For instance, if an organ or bone can be created from a limited amount of cells, it can greatly reduce the costly and dangerous, and often volatile, process of organ transplantation. Due to the fabricated structure being non-foreign to the patient, it would be a safer and more humane solution than reliance on donors.
Amirault, R., J. (2019). The next great educational technology debate: Personal data, its ownership, and privacy. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 20(2), 55-70
Esposito, S., & Principi, N. (2018). Influenza vaccination and prevention of antimicrobial resistance. Expert Review of Vaccines, 17(10), 881-888. Web.
Finklea, K. (2016). Renewed crypto wars?. CRS Insight. Web.
Liu, J., K., Au, M., H., Yuen, T., H., Zuo, C., Wang., J., Sakzad, A., Luo, X., & Li, L. (2020). Privacy-preserving COVID-19 contact tracing app: A zero-knowledge proof approach. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Monash University, The University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
McKee, M., & Rajan, S. (2021). What can we learn from Israel’s rapid roll out of COVID 19 vaccination? Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 10(5), 1-5. Web.
Neuroth, B. (2017). Data politics. The early phase of digitilisation within the federal government and the debate on computer privacy in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Media in Action, 1, 65-80.
Sircar, S. (2017). The crypto wars: Interpreting the privacy versus national security debate from a standards perspective [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University.
Zucker, J., R., Rosen, J., B., Iwamoto, M., Arciuolo, R., J., Langdon-Embry, M., Vora, N., M., Rakeman, J., L., Isaac, B., M., Jean., A., Asfaw., M., Hawkins, S., C., Merrill, T., G., Kennelly, M., O., Morgenthau, B., M., Daskalakis., D., C., & Barbot, O. (2020). Consequences of undervaccination: Measles outbreak, New York City, 2018–2019. The New England Journal of Medicine, 382(11), 1009-1017. Web.