Character and Privacy: The Cost of Convenience

  • Sarah Slaughter University of Dubuque
Keywords: Character, Character and, Character and Screen Life, Cost of Convenience, Internet privacy, right to privacy, big data, information ethics, data mining, privacy policies, Social Media, Facebook, Google, Privacy, Personal dignity, Privacy agreement


From banking and shopping, to connecting with friends and family through email or social media, Americans’ daily interactions increasingly happen online. Many of the services we use to accomplish these tasks are available for free, but the convenience of free services often comes with a cost we don’t fully appreciate. Consumers are continuously generating data for companies, often with very few opportunities to opt out, and with very little understanding of how that data is collected and used. In this essay I examine the consequences of this omnipresent data collection and consider how we ought to manage our privacy online if we wish to be people of integrity and character.