Security, profiling and equality

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):149 - 164 (2008)
Abstract
How, exactly, must we strike the balance between security and equality? Must we insist, out of respect for the equality of persons, that the police refrain from using ethnic profiling and opt for some other strategy in their pursuit of terrorists, or must we allow the police to continue with this policy, which seems to sacrifice equality for the sake of security? This paper assesses the ethical status of ethnic profiling from the perspective of the ideal of equality. The paper shows how the ethical status of ethnic profiling changes depending on how exactly we specify the egalitarian ideal. Furthermore, it argues that on a plausible interpretation of the ideal of equality, ethnic profiling is not in principle objectionable.
Keywords Equality  Dignity  Priority  Profiling  Security
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