A World without Privacy: What Law Can and Should Do? by Austin Sarat

By Austin Sarat

Contemporary revelations approximately America's nationwide protection business enterprise provide a stark reminder of the demanding situations posed by way of the increase of the electronic age for American legislations. those demanding situations refigure the which means of autonomy and the which means of the notice "social" in an age of recent modalities of surveillance and social interplay, in addition to new reproductive applied sciences and the biotechnology revolution. every one of those advancements turns out to portend an international with no privateness, or a minimum of an international during which the which means of privateness is notably reworked, either as a criminal thought and a lived truth. every one calls for us to reconsider the position that legislations can and will play in responding to brand new threats to privateness. Can the legislation stay alongside of rising threats to privateness? Can it offer potent defense opposed to new sorts of surveillance? This publication bargains a few solutions to those questions. It considers a number of diversified understandings of privateness and offers examples of felony responses to the threats to privateness linked to new modalities of surveillance, the increase of electronic know-how, the excesses of the Bush and Obama administrations, and the continued battle on terror.

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I’d like to suggest that our ongoing worries about the Death of Privacy (privacy’s century-old melodramatic death throes) are really an ongoing social and legal conversation about how to manage some of the costs caused by changes in information technologies. If we think about privacy as the scope of information we can keep completely secret or unknown, then that kind of privacy is certainly diminishing. We are living through an information revolution, and the collection, use, and analysis of many kinds of personal data are inevitable.

Kenneth A. Bamberger & Deirdre K. Mulligan, “Privacy on the Books and on the Ground,” Stanford Law Review 63 (2011); Kenneth A. Bamberger & Deirdre K. Mulligan, “Privacy in Europe: Initial Data on Governance Choices and Corporate Practices,” George Washington Law Review (forthcoming 2014). 49 A World Without Privacy have in many cases for a very long time), we can see that digital technologies and government and corporate practices are putting many existing notions of privacy under threat. But privacy in general isn’t dying.

First, all of us have something to hide, or at the very least information that we don’t want broadcast to the world. Second, this argument is misleading because it treats privacy as an individual, not social value. ” Finally, “reducing privacy to an individual right to hide dark secrets ignores the power effects of privacy. ” We already recognize the power of individualized information exchange in confidentiality laws, but this understanding must be expanded in the face of modern day databased analytics that aggregate seemingly trivial bits of personal information to increase the persuasive power of already powerful entities – political machines, corporations, and others.

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