Introduction: Technology and New Challenges for Privacy
Journal of Social Philosophy 45(3): 291-303, 2014
14 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2015 Last revised: 31 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2014
Within the scope of the past half-century, privacy has been heralded as a core constitutional value and unequivocally pronounced dead. Privacy — now replaced by liberty — was discerned to lie at the core of a set of constitutional protections and thus to support rights to contraception, abortion, removal of life-sustaining treatment, and other intimate decisions such as whom to marry. But constitutional privacy’s hegemony was short-lived in the United States at least: subject initially to criticism as conceptually confused, constitutional privacy dissolved into a panoply of values ranging from physical integrity to the contents of suitcases or telephone records. Outside of the law, the rise of the Internet, search engines, social networking, and “big data” brought unprecedented abilities to collect, mine, analyze, and identify information about individuals. Commentators identified what they called the “privacy paradox” of people professing to value privacy but behaving as though they did not.
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