In Pursuit of Privacy: Law, Ethics, and the Rise of Technology

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Cornell University Press, 1997 - Law - 199 pages
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Judith Wagner DeCew provides a solid philosophical foundation for legal discussions of privacy by articulating and unifying diverse arguments on the right to privacy and on how it should be guaranteed in various contemporary contexts. Philosophers and legal theorists tend either to define privacy narrowly or to abandon privacy as conceptually incoherent, she claims. In order to assess how far privacy should extend, and determine how the wide range of specific cases can be reconciled, DeCew surveys the history of the notion of privacy as it first evolved in American tort law and constitutional law and then analyzes current characterizations. In different contexts, privacy has been defined on the basis of information, autonomy, property, and intimacy. DeCew's broader claim is that privacy has fundamental value because it allows us to create ourselves as individuals, offering us freedom from judgment, scrutiny, and the pressure to conform. Feminist theorists often view privacy as a tool for shielding abuses. DeCew responds to this feminist critique of privacy, as well as addressing the issues of abortion and of gay and lesbian sexuality in the context of specific landmark legal cases. In discussions of Roe v. Wade, Bowers v. Hardwick, and the Hart/Devlin debates on decriminalization of homosexuality and prostitution, DeCew applies her broad theory to sexual and reproductive privacy, anti-sodomy laws, and the legislation and enforcement of morals. She finally discusses the intersection of privacy with public safety concerns, such as drug testing, and in light of new communication technologies, such as caller ID.
  

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Review: In Pursuit of Privacy: Law, Ethics, and the Rise of Technology

User Review  - Julia Marie - Goodreads

Judith DeCew was an amazing professor. A great expert. Book was already outdated by time I used it in class to her but it was a great supplement to class reading. Her seminar for law/philosophy Privacy Protection was one of the best classes I've taken so far. Read full review

Contents

ONE Origins and History of Privacy
9
TWO Narrow Views of Privacy Developed from
26
THREE Definitions of Privacy Philosophical Responses
46
FOUR Defending a Broad Conception of Privacy
61
FIVE The Feminist Critique of Privacy
81
Six Judicial Interpretation and John Hart Elys
95
SEVEN Constitutional Privacy and the Arguments
110
A Case Study in Balancing
125
A Challenge
145
Notes
165
Selected Bibliography
189
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About the author (1997)

Judith Wagner DeCew is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clark University.

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