THE “RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE” AND PRIVATE INFORMATION

Sabah S. Al-Fedaghi

Abstract

The definition of privacy given by Warren and Brandeis as the “right to be let alone” is described as the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. Nevertheless, the formulation of privacy as the right to be let alone has been criticized as “broad” and “vague” conception of privacy. In this paper we show that the concept of “right to let alone” is an extraordinary, multifaceted notion that coalesces practical and idealistic features of privacy. It embeds three types of privacy depending on their associated: active, passive and active/passive activities. Active privacy is “freedom-to” claim where the individual is an active agent when dealing with private affairs claiming he/she has the right to control the “extendibility of others’ involvement” in these affairs without interference. This is a right/contractual-based notion of privacy. Accordingly, Justice Rehnquist declaration of no privacy interest in a political rally refers to active privacy. Passive privacy is “freedom-from” notion where the individual is a passive agent when dealing with his/her private affairs and he/she has privacy not due control –as in active privacy– but through others being letting him/her alone. This privacy has duty/moral implications. In this sense Warren and Brandeis advocated that even truthful reporting leads to “a lowering of social standards and morality.” Active/passive privacy is when the individual is the actor and the one acted on. These three-netted interpretations of the “right to be alone” encompass most –if not all- definitions of privacy and give the concept narrowness and precision.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

S. Al-Fedaghi S. (2005). THE “RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE” AND PRIVATE INFORMATION . In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 3: ICEIS, ISBN 972-8865-19-8, pages 98-107. DOI: 10.5220/0002515700980107


in Bibtex Style

@conference{iceis05,
author={Sabah S. Al-Fedaghi},
title={THE “RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE” AND PRIVATE INFORMATION},
booktitle={Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 3: ICEIS,},
year={2005},
pages={98-107},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0002515700980107},
isbn={972-8865-19-8},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF
JO - Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 3: ICEIS,
TI - THE “RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE” AND PRIVATE INFORMATION
SN - 972-8865-19-8
AU - S. Al-Fedaghi S.
PY - 2005
SP - 98
EP - 107
DO - 10.5220/0002515700980107