The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty, 113 Yale Law Journal 1151 (2004)
In every corner of the Western world, writers proclaim "privacy" as a supremely important human good, as a value somehow at the core of what makes life worth living. Without our privacy, we lose "our very integrity as persons," Charles Fried declared over thirty-five years ago. Many others have since agreed that privacy is somehow fundamental to our "personhood. It is a commonplace, moreover, that our privacy is peculiarly menaced by the evolution of modem society, with its burgeoning technologies of surveillance and inquiry. Commentators paint this menace in very dark colors: Invasions of our privacy are said to portend a society of "horror, " to "injure [us] in [our] very humanity, '' or even to threaten "totalitarianism," and the establishment of law protecting privacy is accordingly declared to be a matter of fundamental rights.6 It is the rare privacy advocate who resists citing Orwell when describing these dangers.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Whitman, James Q., "The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty" (2004). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 649.