Creating A Legal Taxonomy Of Privacy

1271 Words Mar 10th, 2016 6 Pages
Differentiating Meanings of “Privacy” “Invasion of privacy” did not exist as a separate tort prior to the 20th century. In 1960, William Prosser described how privacy came to be established in tort law and how many distinct torts fit within it, including torts for intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, and placing a person in a false light. Daniel Solove builds off of Prosser’s work, constructing a legal taxonomy of privacy focused on information collection, information processing, information dissemination, and intrusion. As this thesis aims to gain insight into how privacy has evolved conceptually within the American court system, and particularly the Supreme Court, I aim to identify conceptual divisions of privacy in the context of the U.S. Constitution. Therein we observe the major definitions of privacy emerging as the frameworks discussed earlier in this thesis: privacy as access, privacy as control, and informational privacy.
Privacy as Access: Freedom From Government Intrusion and Personal Autonomy Much of our understanding of privacy as it is enforced today rests on the principles inherent to the Fourth Amendment, which the Court has referenced as protecting a “reasonable expectation of privacy” from unwarranted government intrusion. Specifically, this conceptualization of privacy is rooted in Justice Brandeis’ dissenting opinion in Olmstead v. United States (1928). In Olmstead, the Supreme Court considered whether the Fourth Amendment applied to…
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