Anita L. Allen

in The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284238
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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The idea of privacy has played a role in constitutional thought, formulations of human rights, and both common and civil law. The US Supreme Court has recognized that five of the original Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment protect privacy interests. In US tort law, interests against intrusion upon seclusion, public disclosure of private fact, publications placing one in a false light, and misappropriation of a person's name, likeness, or identity are potentially protected through civil actions styled ‘invasions of privacy’. Federal and state statutes protect interests in the privacy of records relating to, inter alia, health, finances, consumer transactions, Internet use, and taxes.

Keywords: privacy; human rights; Bill of Rights; Fourteenth Amendment; civil actions; federal statutes

Article.  12704 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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