The purpose of this paper is to provide a survey piece on the concept of privacy and the justification of privacy rights.
This article reviews each of the following areas: a brief history of privacy; philosophical definitions of privacy along with specific critiques; legal conceptions of privacy, including the history of privacy protections granted in constitutional and tort law; and general critiques of privacy protections both moral and legal.
A primary goal of this article has been to provide an overview of the most important philosophical and legal issues related to privacy. While privacy is difficult to define and has been challenged on legal and moral grounds, it is a cultural universal and has played an important role in the formation of Western liberal democracies.
The paper provides a general overview of the issues and debates that frame this lively area of scholarly inquiry. By facilitating a wider engagement and input from numerous communities and disciplines, it is the authors' hope to advance scholarly debate in this important area.
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