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Eastern Gateway Community College Social Issues and Technology Personal Privacy and Safety Paper

Eastern Gateway Community College Social Issues and Technology Personal Privacy and Safety Paper


Title: Privacy and Security Breach: Identity Theft Through a Conflict Theory Lens


In the digital age, we have witnessed a surge in various types of privacy and security breaches. One such breach that continues to plague individuals and society at large is identity theft. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of identity theft, examining its impact on privacy and safety at the individual level through the lens of Conflict Theory. We will also discuss the potential consequences of identity theft on health, wealth, and feelings of security. Additionally, I will share my personal perspective on balancing the risks of a breach with the convenience of the internet. Moreover, we will explore how future technology could mitigate the risks associated with identity theft. Lastly, we will conclude by discussing the threat to personal privacy and safety using the Conflict Theory as our sociological lens.

Identity Theft: A Growing Concern

Identity theft is the fraudulent acquisition and use of an individual’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number, bank account details, or credit card information, without their consent. This stolen information is often used for financial gain, leaving victims grappling with the aftermath.

Impact on Privacy and Safety at the Individual Level

Identity theft can have devastating effects on individuals’ privacy and safety:

  1. Financial Implications: Victims of identity theft often suffer financial losses as fraudsters drain their bank accounts, run up credit card debts, or take out loans in their name. This financial turmoil can lead to stress, anxiety, and even bankruptcy, affecting an individual’s overall well-being.
  2. Emotional Distress: The emotional toll of identity theft cannot be overstated. Victims may experience feelings of violation, anger, and helplessness. This emotional distress can negatively impact mental health and overall quality of life.

Personal Balance between Risk and Convenience

Balancing the risks of identity theft with the convenience of the internet is a constant challenge. Personally, I take several measures to protect my online identity, such as using strong, unique passwords for each online account, enabling two-factor authentication, and regularly monitoring my financial statements. While these precautions may be somewhat inconvenient, the peace of mind they provide outweighs the potential risks.

Future Technology and Risk Mitigation

The advancement of technology offers potential solutions to mitigate the risks associated with identity theft:

  1. Biometric Authentication: Future technology could rely more on biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, making it much harder for fraudsters to impersonate individuals.
  2. Blockchain Technology: The use of blockchain in identity management could provide a more secure and decentralized way of storing personal information, reducing the risk of centralized data breaches.

Conflict Theory Perspective

Conflict Theory, as presented by sociological thinkers like Karl Marx, focuses on the inequalities and power struggles within society. Applying this theory to identity theft, we can see how it perpetuates social inequalities:

  1. Economic Inequality: Identity theft disproportionately affects individuals with fewer resources. Those with substantial wealth can often recover more easily from financial losses, while those with limited means may face severe consequences.
  2. Power Imbalances: The perpetrators of identity theft are often well-organized criminal networks or individuals with advanced hacking skills. They exploit power imbalances and inequalities to exploit vulnerable individuals.
  3. Corporate Interests: Some corporations collect vast amounts of personal data, which can be attractive targets for identity thieves. The conflict arises when corporations prioritize profit over ensuring the security of this data.

In conclusion, identity theft is a pervasive threat that affects individuals on multiple levels, from financial well-being to emotional health. Balancing the convenience of the internet with the risk of identity theft is an ongoing challenge, but future technological advancements offer hope for increased security. Through a Conflict Theory lens, we can understand how identity theft perpetuates social inequalities and power imbalances, emphasizing the need for stronger societal safeguards and corporate responsibility in protecting personal information.

Eastern Gateway Community College Social Issues and Technology Personal Privacy and Safety Paper





For this assignment, you are asked to choose one (1) type of privacy and/or security breach. You will also need to reference one of the sociological theories: Structural Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Symbolic Interactionism. You will create a blog discussing the risks associated with that type of breach. Once again, you will submit this assignment as a Word document.


  • A description of the specific type of breach you have chosen. Focus on cyberwarfare, identity theft, hacking, microchipping, email spam, or digital harassment.
  • Describe how that breach affects privacy and safety at the individual level; include two (2) external references.
    • In your description, be sure to include the potential effects of the breach on health, wealth, and feelings of security.
  • Present how you personally balance the risks of a breach with the convenience of the internet.
  • Provide a detailed description of ways future technology could decrease the risks associated with the breach you described; include two (2) external references.
  • Conclude with a discussion of the threat to personal privacy and/or safety when viewed through a sociological lens; include one (1) external reference. Choose one of the sociological theories presented in Unit 1 as your lens.
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