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Ackerman and Rachels (n,p) contend that maintaining privacy necessitates having control over information about oneself. If someone can access information about the subject without the latter's consent, then this privacy is breached. People want to be protected against specific incursions. This tendency can be explained by describing the numerous interests that could be harmed. These include those that, if revealed to rivals, might jeopardize a person's interests and those that, if revealed to others, would be unpleasant or potentially embarrassing. In medicine, privacy is increasingly significant. Many patients do not understand the consequences tied to revelation of facts on their medical status to other parties. However, this information can be damaging to family, social relations and even self-esteem.<\/p>
According to Rachels, many people do not understand the importance of their own privacy. Investigations related to jobs or credit often dig out very personal information like political views and sex life. Concealing such personal information can help an individual maintain a positive image in society. Rachels (195) notes that most of the confidential information about a person comprises of unusual situations that can be used for mistreating an individual. Therefore, these situations have no significant implications on the value that privacy has on the normal life conditions and situations. Normal individuals who have nothing embarrassing about their lives do not want the public to access information about their activities. Some invasions of privacy do not amount to embarrassment but people are not willing to give into them.<\/p>
According to Rachels (196), accounts of privacy should lead people into concluding what activities or aspects of life should be considered someone\u2019s business. This has implications on why intrusion is offensive. Rachels notes that privacy is key concept that determines the ability of an individual to initiate and maintain social relationships. These include relations between friends, couples, family members and at the workplace. Individuals. People mutate and show different qualities in varying relationships. This does not necessarily amount to hypocrisy. Rather, all the traits exhibited may form a personality. Therefore, a person will tend to behave differently depending on whether one is watching them and this behaviour is further modified depending on the person watching them.<\/p>
Social relationships define how people relate with each other. Individuals are likely to exhibit some personality traits to their friends that they cannot show to other people. According to Ackerman and Rachels (n.p), the role that an individual play as a friend models their private persona. An individual slides into the public persona when in a group of people that they are not so familiar with. The real self is for the person himself\/herself and their confidants such as family members and close friends while the fa\u00e7ade is meant for other people.<\/p>
The non-real fa\u00e7ade is different between individuals and situations. Individuals react and behave in a manner that explains their understanding of their relationship with others. A person will share so much information with a friend that they consider close. However, if they find out that that the relationship is not the way they perceive it, they feel cheated and betrayed. For instance, a person who finds out that their best friend behaves more informally around other people than around them will begin to withdraw from the friendship. Individuals also behave in a certain way to set precedence on how they want the relationship to be. Ackerman and Rachels (n.p) terms this as dishonesty. However, one does not become fake by behaving in a certain way in order to model a relationship.<\/p>
Rachels\u2019 explanation offers valid insights on the multi-faceted personality. One cannot affirm that their personality falls under a certain category. Rather, it is built on different relationships that an individual establishes with those around them. People are the same despite the manner in which they act upon others. Rachels\u2019 account of the multi-faceted individual can be applied in understanding the role that relationships play in the construction and redefinition of identity. A person has an opportunity to define how others relate to them through expression of their identity. Inability to bring out the right personality traits compromises their control over relationships.<\/p>
Maintaining our privacy means that we control what other people know about us. When an individual loses the ability to control their privacy, they lose discretion over their relationships. Individuals can obtain information about us that we do not intent them to. One cannot adjust their behaviour to suit the relationships that they are in. Gossip spreads information that we do not intent other people to access. It compromises an individual\u2019s social position. They end up falling out of relationships. Therefore, Rachels\u2019 sentiments that gossip is a violation of one\u2019s rights. Gossip means that one has no control over the information that goes around about them and are exposed to damage caused by the spread of this information. It can lead to broken marriages, weak friendships and mistrust between affiliates. The fact that gossip violates a person\u2019s interest in privacy means that it should be treated as violation of a fundamental right.<\/p>
Ackerman, Debra., and Rachels, James. Autonomy and Privacy.
Rachels, James. "Why privacy is important." Ethical issues in the use of computers (1985): 194-201.
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