Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet. - Lewis Mumford, American philosopher
The needs of human beings start from the most primary needs such as food, clothing and shelter to secondary needs such as education, work and recreation and further on to wants such as entertainment, good food, leisure travel, etc . The question that must be asked is where does privacy fit into all these needs and wants? Is it a need or is it a want? Is it required anyway?
One might assert that the degree of privacy dictates whether it is a want or a need. A basic degree of privacy is a primary need in any civilised society. As the degree of privacy increases, it evolves into a secondary need and further to a want. As civilisation evolves, the law has evolved from guaranteeing the most basic needs of humans by converting them to rights and then slowly guaranteeing needs not necessarily for existence as rights, as and when society has been able to gather the resources to provide for these needs.
Yet, questions remain. What is privacy? As pointed out by Roger Clarke, we use many words without exactly considering their meaning. When we use words such as 'eat' and 'zebra', it does not matter, but when we use words such as 'discrimination' and 'ethnicity', one cannot have a rational discussion without having a common understanding of the terms .
Furthermore, what do we mean by 'degree of privacy'? The standards of privacy vary very widely from culture to culture and therefore even the law must accordingly fit into the standards of the society. The standards of privacy which a person living in the densely populated slums of Mumbai finds acceptable are totally different from the standards which the people living in a sparsely populated and remote village in Himachal Pradesh find acceptable, assuming that we leave alone the standards employed by the Scandinavians. Can there be a common benchmark for privacy, at least in India?
What cannot be denied, however, is that privacy is important. Warren and Brandeis, two American lawyers, in their seminal paper called 'The Right to Privacy', published in 1890 in the Harvard Law Review, could not have put it in a better way: "The intensity and complexity of life, attendant upon advancing civilization, have rendered necessary some retreat from the world, and man, under the refining influence of culture, has become more sensitive to publicity, so that solitude and privacy have become more essential to the individual..."
The most famous paper on privacy to have been published is the above mentioned 'The Right to Privacy', in which the authors encouraged a concept of privacy in which they understood privacy as 'the right to be left alone'. Privacy has several facets such as political privacy, medical privacy, genetic privacy, internet privacy, bodily privacy and privacy of communications. Ruth Gavison has recognised three elements in privacy: secrecy, anonymity and solitude .
The right to privacy is said to have existed in both classical Greece and Ancient China. More recently, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights states, "No one should be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks on his honour or reputation."
Nature and Scope
This paper will first analyse how the concept of privacy has evolved in the law, and then focus upon the status of the right to privacy in India.
The researcher will attempt to answer the following research questions:
* What is privacy in the eyes of the law?
* How has the concept of the right to privacy evolved in the law?
* What is the status of the right to privacy in India?
In the opinion of the researcher, the first research question cannot be explicitly answered and it is hoped that the reader gets an indication of what privacy is in the eyes of the...
The right to privacy means controlling your own personal information and the ability to allow or deny access to others. As Americans, we feel it's a right not a privilege to have privacy. IT technology and the events of September 11, 2001 are diminishing that right, whether its workplace privacy or personal privacy. From sending email, applying for a job, or even using the telephone, Americans right to privacy is in danger. Personal and professional information is being stored, link, transferred, shared, and even sold without your permission or knowledge. IT technology has benefited mankind tremendously in so many areas, but its also comes with a price. Advancements in technology make all individuals vulnerable to unwanted probing and monitoring.
Privacy is a fundamental right. According to Supreme Court Justice D. Brandeis (Olmstead v. U.S. 277 U.S. 438 1928):
The makers of our Constitution...sought to protect
Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions,
and their sensations. They conferred as against the
Government, the right to be let alone; the most
comprehensive of the rights of man and the right most
valued by civilized men. The principle...
Civil liberties are vital and valuable for the American society. The right of privacy is one of the most important rights that a person can have as an individual. The bill of Rights does not have an amendment that mentions a right to privacy, however “the first Congress had the concept of privacy in mind when it crafted the first 10 amendments” (Edwards, Wattenberg, & Lineberry, 2008, p. 131). “Today, one of the greatest debates concerning American’s civil liberties lies in the emerging area of privacyrights” (Edwards, Wattenberg, & Lineberry, 2008, p. 130). Abortion is a topic of controversy, and I decided to write about abortion because abortion is the perfect example to describe a civil liberty. As a couple has the right to family plan, they also have the right to whether have a baby or practice an abortion. Abortion means the interruption or termination of pregnancy.
“The idea that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy was first enunciated in a court case in 1965, in which a family violated a Connecticut law by disseminating a birth control device” (Edwards, Wattenberg, & Lineberry, 2008, p. 132 ). Pro-life believes in one of the most important American values, which is life and their opinion is that abortion should not happen because that means talking someone’s...
...The Right of Privacy is one of the broadest yet most controversial rights we have, but it is not specifically in the U.S. constitution. There are however, a few Amendments that are the key to defining the right of privacy with the most important consisting of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and the 14th. Cases taken to the Supreme Court are also a substantial part of the Right of Privacy in a more specific way in which the highest courts of the United States decide upon the most controversial cases. There are many topics that come with the Right of Privacy such as abortion, religion, sex, sexuality, unlawful searches and medical decisions. These topics can lead to endless debates and every individual will have their personal opinions on them.
The First Amendment of the U.S. constitution addresses basic individual rights such as freedom of the press, speech, religion and peacefully complaining to or asking for assistance from the Government without worry of consequences for doing so. It covers most topics in the Bill of Rights and is essential to any individual’s liberty in the United States. The First Amendment shapes what the rest of the Bill of Rights purpose is. An Amendment that favors the public and is the deciding factor in a lot of court cases is the Fourth. This amendment states that unreasonable...
...Title: Right to Know & Right to Privacy
1. Constitutional and Civil Rights
A constitutional right is a right granted by a country's constitution, and cannot be legally denied by the government. Civil rights are the protections and privileges of personal liberty given to all citizens by law. Examples of civil rights and liberties include the right to get redress if injured by another, the right to privacy, the right of peaceful protest, the right to a fair investigation and trial if suspected of a crime, and more generally-based constitutional rights such as the right to vote, the right to personal liberty, the right to life, the right to freedom of movement, the right to business and profession, the right to freedom of speech and expression. As civilizations emerged and formalized through written constitutions, some of the more important civil rights were granted to citizens. When those grants were later found inadequate, civil rights movements emerged as the vehicle for claiming more equal protection of law and equality before law for all citizens and advocating new laws to restrict the effect of discriminations. Some civil rights are granted in written...
...Right To Privacy Under Article 21 and the Related Conflicts
A very fascinating development in the Indian Constitutional jurisprudence is the extended dimension given to Article 21 by the Supreme Court in post-Maneka era. The Supreme Court has asserted that Art. 21 is the heart of the Fundamental Rights. Article 21 has proved to be multi-dimensional. The extension in the dimensions of Art.21 has been made possible by giving a extended meaning to the word ‘life’ and ‘liberty’ in Article 21. These two words in Art.21 are not to be read narrowly. These are organic terms which are to be construed meaningfully.
The Supreme Court has asserted that in order to treat a right as a fundamental right, it is not necessary that it should be expressly stated in the constitution as a Fundamental Right. Political, social, and economic changes in the country entail the recognition of new rights. The law in its eternal youth grows to meet the demands of society.
Right to privacy is one such right which has come to its existence after widening up the dimensions of Article 21. The constitution in specific doesn’t grant any right to privacy as such. However, such a right has been culled by the Supreme Court from Art. 21 and several other provisions of the constitution read with the Directive Principles of...
...The right to privacy in Hong Kong
The definition of privacy refers to one’s freedom of thought and expression, the right of private property and also protects their personal information. According to the article of the right to privacy (1890) written by Warren and Brandeis, privacy is the right to be let alone and believe it is the right inviolate of personality. Therefore, there are some ordinances in Hong Kong’s common law and the Hong Kong bill of right are used to protect the citizen’s right of privacy. The protection mainly reflects in the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance which included the data protection principles.
However, the changes made by the government of the restriction on public access to company information in The New Companies Ordinance which passed by Legislative Council on 12th July 2012 and to become effective in 2014, had become the most controversial issue. Company Registry, the responsible department of the government, claims that the aim of the government to rewrite the companies’ ordinance is for the modernization of Hong Kong's company law and the further enhancement of Hong Kong's status as a major international commerce and economic centre. However, someone fears that businesses could harbor corruption under the law and question about the necessity of this...
...The PrivacyRights of Individuals
Privacy can be defined in many ways, depending on one’s perspective, including the right to be left alone, free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life. Although everyone agrees that this is an important right that should be protected by governmental laws, the extent of one’s right to privacy has often been a matter of debate in the court system of the United States. There is vast disagreement concerning how far the government should go to protect an individual’s right to privacy. The United States is a large melting pot of cultures, races and ideas, which often lead to a differing of opinions in term of what should be the norm due to ethical and moral difference between individuals. This paper will present court cases that deal with the privacyrights of individuals as they relate to the areas of homosexuality, drug testing, birth control and the right to die.
An individual’s right to sexual privacy, including homosexuality, is an issue that has been brought before the courts repeatedly. Bowers v. Hardwick is a landmark case fought in 1986 that tested the boundaries of sexual rights. Hardwick was charged with committing consensual sodomy in the privacy of his bedroom with another adult male. He...
...In this report I am going to talk about the rights people have to privacy and about the laws that go with privacy. Privacy is the thought that information that is confidential that is disclosed in a private place will not be available to third parties when the information would cause embarrassment or emotional distress to a person.
The right of privacy is limited to people who are in a place that a person would reasonably expect to be private such as home, hotel room and even a telephone booth. People think they should be protected by privacy when the conversation is private and should not be heard by others, and the same with going through a persons person things.
In the history of privacy laws legal concepts like ownership of real property and contracts originated many years ago now are in law. The right to privacy has now gotten legal recognition and is an evolving area of law.
Early invasions of privacy could be treated as trespassing, assault, or eavesdropping. A reason that privacy is not seen as a fundamental right is that most modern invasions of privacy are with new technology. Before they invented of certain things a person could be certain that their conversation is in private. Before the invention of computer databases, a person might invade another...