White Plains Residents Weigh In On Privacy In The Digital Age

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Brian Kenney, Director of the White Plains Public Library, said in his opinion, once you go online, you've lost most of your privacy.
Brian Kenney, Director of the White Plains Public Library, said in his opinion, once you go online, you've lost most of your privacy. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- In the age of technology and constant connectivity, does anyone really have privacy?

The Obama administration is preparing to submit to Congress legislation to overhaul of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk phone records program. Should it be approved, it would seemingly restore some sense of privacy to millions. However, some White Plains residents feel like their privacy has already been violated beyond return.

Lowell Jones, who has lived in White Plains for 10 years, said he thinks technology has eliminated privacy altogether.

"People are constantly connected nowadays, there's no way to maintain privacy," he said. "That's my view anyway. Even though I don't use much technology, I feel like it has invaded my privacy."

Jones said he doesn't like the way people share information online and via the phone.

"People call your house now and ask you for your social security number. My wife always slams the phone down on them." 

He said he hopes the government stops surveilling people, but he's not optimistic they will.

Brian Kenney, director of the White Plains Public Library, said in his opinion, once you go online, you've lost most of your privacy.

"That's a cynical way to view it, I suppose. But especially the more you social network, the more information you give out about yourself," he said.

Kenney said libraries are some of the last places you can access Internet without leaving a digital fingerprint, and that he feels it is a good thing.

"We make every effort to make sure we attain privacy for our patrons. Nothing is recorded when you use our computers unless you want it to be. Some people willingly save their search history, but everything else is dumped," he said.

Kenney added the library does do programs on computer literacy and Internet privacy, especially now that they've opened their new technology center for teens, The Edge.

"We've done a number of workshops on technology and how to use social media responsibly for kids and adults," he said.

What do you think? Does privacy exist in the digital age? Join the conversation below. 

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