Is the use of surveillance technologies justifiable in light of its effects on the well-being of single mothers . . . (thesis)
The surveillance of single mothers on welfare is a difficult issue to evaluate given that it involves balancing individual privacy rights with citizens' interests in ensuring that government money is being used effectively and non-fraudulently. This essay explores the way in which surveillance is used to combat welfare fraud in the US and whether its use, both theoretically and in reality, is justifiable within its cultural context. I will first discuss the definition of privacy offered by various prominent privacy scholars to provide a comprehensive definition, one that relies heavily on the perspectives advanced by Ruth Gavison's arguments and Martha Nussbaum's capabilities approach. Second, I will delve into an ethical framework for determining the justifiability of a given action that is grounded in two requirements: first, that the purpose of an act is justifiable within its cultural context; and second, that the act itself is both effective and necessary. This framework will be applied to the surveillance that single mothers receiving benefits from the US welfare system are subjected to in order to demonstrate that much of the additional monitoring that they are subjected to is unjustifiable. [From Introduction]
Capstone; [FULL-TEXT RESTRICTED TO WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY LOGIN]Mohini Tangri is a member of the Class of 2019 of Washington and Lee University.