Coercing Privacy and Moderate Paternalism: Allen on Unpopular Privacy

5 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2013 Last revised: 6 Mar 2018

See all articles by Adam D. Moore

Adam D. Moore

University of Washington - The Information School

Date Written: February 26, 2013


My hope is that by challenging two of the central claims of Unpopular Privacy, Professor Allen will be encouraged to expand or further clarify her views. First, I will critique Allen’s definition of privacy as being overly broad. On my view, including forced seclusion or isolation along with rights to control access to and uses of locations and information within the category of “privacy” is a mistake. Similarly, to describe legal protections for keeping doctor and patient confidences as coercing, rather than protecting privacy rights, seems a stretch. Second, I will challenge Allen’s justification for moderate paternalism. Our government may indeed be treating us like children in a variety of ways, but such policies are unjustified and create or sustain the very weaknesses they are supposed to ameliorate.

Keywords: privacy, paternalism, Anita Allen, surveillance, value of privacy, privacy right

Suggested Citation

Moore, Adam D., Coercing Privacy and Moderate Paternalism: Allen on Unpopular Privacy (February 26, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Adam D. Moore (Contact Author)

University of Washington - The Information School ( email )

Box 352840
Mary Gates Hall, Ste. 370
Seattle, WA 98195
206.685.9937 (Phone)


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