Beyond Libertarian Theory of Privacy

The libertarian theory of privacy limits itself to physical aggression against property. This approach tends to absorb the concept of privacy into property rights. This diminishes the visibility and importance of privacy, which has a long historical tradition and meaning.

By contrast, common law and some constitutional law articulate a larger and highly relevant understanding of privacy. Some of this is based on a social understanding of the person and relation of individual freedom, expression and realization of a person to behavior of people around the person in society. This affords us grounds in addition to the libertarian emphasis on property rights for criticizing privacy invasions, not only by governments but also by others in our society.

My articles on privacy tend in the latter directions by going beyond the strictly libertarian approach. They do not alter or amend libertarian law as articulated by Rothbard and Block. They go beyond it, modestly. Generally speaking, broad benefits are conferred on most of us in a society by codes (moral, social, legal, political) that preserve privacy along many dimensions that may go beyond the notion of property rights. If that’s the case, then we can expect that a free people or a people living in a more nearly libertarian world will not abandon such codes as have evolved as part of our existing societies.

In order of appearance, my articles on privacy are as follows:

1. June 7, 2012 (PADD) People Against Domestic Drones (here)
2. Dec. 13, 2012 Extremely Serious Privacy Problem in America (here)
3. Dec. 14, 2012 Privacy vs. Right to Privacy (here)
4. Dec. 15, 2012 Privacy and the Government’s Dossier on You (here)
5. Dec. 15, 2012 Privacy: Inversion of Citizen-Government Relation (here)
6. Dec. 15, 2012 Privacy: The Tort of Invasion of Privacy (here)
7. Dec. 15, 2012 Privacy Invasions of the TSA (here)
8. Dec. 16, 2012 Privacy and the ‘I Have Nothing to Hide Argument’ (here)
9. Dec. 17, 2012 An American Stasi (here)
10. Dec. 17, 2012 Harm to the Person (here)
11. Dec. 31, 2012 What’s Wrong with the Surveillance State? (here)
12. June 16, 2013 One Big Issue: Surveillance and Expansionism Are Linked (here)
13. August 7, 2013 Obama Denies Domestic Spying But He’s Wrong (here)
14. August 7, 2013 Is the NSA Seizing E-Mails When It Copies Them? (here)
15. August 7, 2013 Obama’s Privacy (here)
16. Feb. 11, 2014 The NSA Spying on Americans Violates the Fourth Amendment (here)
17. Dec. 17, 2014 Enabling Totalitarianism via Eradicating the Fourth Amendment (here)
18. May 2, 2017 Privacy Rights of Girl in Shower (here)
19. Nov. 29, 2017 Your Right to Privacy: Its Meaning (here)


9:49 am on November 30, 2017