LEGAL AND HISTORICAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF A RIGHT TO PRIVACY ARE WEAK
THE US HAS NO EXPLICIT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY
David Banisar and Simon Davies, Deputy Director of Privacy International (PI) and Director General of Privacy International and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, "GLOBAL TRENDS IN PRIVACY PROTECTION: AN INTERNATIONAL SURVEY OF PRIVACY, DATA PROTECTION, AND SURVEILLANCE LAWS AND DEVELOPMENTS," The John Marhall Journal of Computer & Information Law , Fall, 1999, 18 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 1, EE2001-JGM, P.
There is no explicit right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a limited constitutional right of privacy based on a number of provisions in the Bill of Rights. This includes a right to privacy from government surveillance into an area where a person has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" n677 and also in matters relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing and education. n678 However, records held by third parties such as financial records or telephone calling records are generally not protected unless a legislature enacted a specific law. The court also recognized a right of anonymity n679 and the right of political groups to prevent disclosure of their members' names to government agencies. n680
US CONSTITUTIONAL JURISPRUDENCE ON PRIVACY IS WEAK
Janlori Goldman, Director of the Health Privacy Project at Georgetown University's Institute for Health Care Policy, "Privacy and Empowerment in the Interactive Age," VISIONS OF PRIVACY: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, 1999, EE2001 -JGM, p.104
Exacerbating the insufficiency of privacy law and practice is the weak state of constitutional jurisprudence in the area of information privacy, most notably the interpretation of the Fourth Amendment: the 'right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.'25 The U.S. Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter and interpreter of the meaning and scope of the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Court has both narrowly interpreted the Fourth Amendment's scope and crafted standards for applying the Amendment which have resulted* in weak actual protections. In one of its seminal privacy cases, U.S. v Katz, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment protects 'people, not places' from unwarranted searches and seizures. 26 In Katz the Court found that what a person 'seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected' provided the individual has a subjective actual expectation of privacy that the society will recognize as reasonable. The reasonable expectation is then weighed against the government's interest in access and the extent of the intrusion. Although hailed as a landmark privacy decision, the Katz test has been applied in later cases to undermine privacy interests.
HISTORICAL COMPARISONS OF THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY HAVE LIMITED PROBATIVE VALUE
Charles Sykes, Senior Fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Institute, THE END OF PRIVACY, 1999, EE2001 -JGM, p. 16
Historical comparisons are useful, but also limited because the conditions of privacy in the modern technological world are, in fact, radically different from the challenges it faced in the past. Some critics dismiss concerns about massive commercial databases that track individual purchases and buying habits, by saying that such information was really no different from small-town gossip. But this misses the fundamental difference between being known by neighbors and friends, and being monitored by a faceless database. As intrusive as small-town gossip might have been, it was always shaded by some personal knowledge and connection. Being watched by a neighbor is not at A of the same magnitude as being watched by a bureaucracy, or tracked by a dataweb that misses little and forgets nothing.'
WE ARE THE ONLY NATION TO INVENT A RIGHT TO PRIVACY
ADAM WOLFSON; executive editor of the Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, March 27, 2000 SECTION: BOOKS & ARTS; Pg. 38 TITLE: The Private Interest; In our confessional culture, we have a right of privacy -- and nothing private // acs-VT2001
But if we are a nation of exhibitionists and voyeurs, we are also the only nation in history to invent a "right of privacy." Decades ago, the Supreme Court declared that embedded in the Constitution is a right that frees the individual "from unwarranted governmental intrusion" in certain fundamental matters, including the right to buy contraceptives and, eventually, the right to have an abortion. In taking what was once thought a matter of high public concern -- the killing of unborn human beings -- and privatizing it, the Court extended privacy beyond anyone's wildest imaginings.