Values File

other authors have similarly emphasized the

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Unformatted text preview: ivate activities free from intervention or regulation. Put succinctly, autonomy allows people to make decisions freely and act as individuals. Privacy also includes an interest against intrusion. This interest "means being free from surveillance in situations in which an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy." The interest against intrusion is tied to the anonymity of individuals. Anonymity in this context does not signify a complete lack of ability to identify someone; instead, it refers to an individual's ability to go about his daily life without having his every move observed. Surveillance technology is designed to intrude upon this anonymity and, in certain situations, society accepts this intrusion. It can be unclear, however, what types of intrusion are acceptable, and to what extent, when new advances in surveillance are involved. PRIVACY IS NECESSARY FOR A FREE SOCIETY Charles Sykes, NQA, THE END OF PRIVACY, 1999, p. 18. Consider what happens when privacy is utterly extinguished. Imagine a society where the personal is always the political and the distance between comrades is dissolved. We can imagine a society (George Orwell has done it for us) where we are constantly at the mercy of snoops; either informers, or surveillance devices that watch us, keep track of where we go, what we read, whom we see, what we believe, whom we love. We can easily picture a society in which the police have the right to burst into any home, or any room, at any time; in other words, a society in which there was no place that is off-limits, no place where we are safe and where we could hide. Or a society that restricted personal choice, regulating whom you can marry, how you can raise your children, or what you can read in the privacy of your own home. What we cannot imagine is such a society that is also free. WITHOUT ADEQUATE PRIVACY THERE IS NO MEANINGFUL IDENTITY Anita L. Allen, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, WILLIAM & MARY LAW REVIEW, March 1999, p. 754-755. My conception of privacy (and private choice) is distinctly liberal in its assumption...
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