Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 January 2009
The right to privacy is one of the rights most widely demanded today. Privacy has not always so been demanded. The reasons for the present concern for privacy are complex and obscure. They obviously relate both to the possibilities for very considerable enjoyment of privacy by the bulk of people living in affluent societies brought about by twentieth-century affluence, and to the development of very efficient methods of thoroughly and systematically invading this newly found privacy. However, interesting and important as it is as a socio-philosophical inquiry, the concern of this paper is not with why privacy has come to be so highly prized, but rather with whether it is rightly prized, and if so, when and why. This means that my concern will be with what privacy is, what is its domain, whether there is a right to privacy, and, if so, whether it is an ultimate, basic, albeit, a prima facie right, or simply a conditional right.
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