Benjamin Franklin in 1759, believed that if people gave up any of their freedoms to feel safer, then they should not have those freedoms or a feeling of safety.
In Ben Franklin’s quote, he correctly portrays how when one trades their freedoms for security they deserve neither, because without any freedom there is no such thing as complete “security.” Giving up one’s privacy does not lead to security. One’s privacy can be considered a freedom, and sacrificing that freedom is thought to be for personal security, but without any privacy the government is able to watch every move so there can’t be security. Among other words, Ben Franklin stated that “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety...” (Franklin). Within this statement, one can take from it that “essential liberty” is referring to privacy, and “temporary safety” is referring to the promised government security, so he is essentially saying that people give up their privacy in return for the government keeping them safe. But when someone gives up their privacy, the government has access to their entire “life” through their internet searches and social media accounts, and also allows them to track people's’ daily lives through surveillance cameras all across the nation. As a result, giving up the freedom of privacy allows no sense of security in the way that makes them feel finally free to be alone because the government could always be watching their every move. However, giving up one’s privacy can lead to safety. Giving up one’s freedom to privacy leads to safety because it allows criminal behavior to be tracked down and stopped by using incriminating information posted by them or their followers online. According to Barack Obama, “...our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They've got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law”(Barack Obama). Public safety is a huge concern to the government according to our nation’s most prominent figure, and to “maintain public safety” they “hold accountable those who break the law”. To catch those criminals and bring them to justice, many people must sacrifice their freedom of privacy. By doing so, the police and other government agencies are able to search through social media, phone, and other internet records to track down and capture criminals, therefore increasing safety throughout the entire nation.
Many think that giving up freedoms such as privacy could lead to even bigger feats, such as public safety for the entire country. One cannot deny that in certain situations safety can be a result when privacy is lost, but it is more complicated than that. When one thinks about safety and security, they will find that there is a great difference between the two. Safety is something that can be gained through the loss of privacy, whereas security cannot. So when one gives up privacy for the gain of security, they deserve neither. Ben Franklin’s quote (1759) correctly portrays how when one trades their freedoms for security they deserve neither, because without any freedom there is no such thing as complete “security.”