2005/08/02

The "Right" to Privacy

Paul Hsieh at NoodleFood has an interesting post with the fun name of "Privacy Rights and the Korean Dog Poop Girl" concerning the "right" to privacy. In the comments, I have a couple entries on my view of this "right". [The scare quotes probably give you an idea of what I think of the concept.] A couple of excerpts from one of my comments:
The conclusion that I came to [...] is that the "right to privacy" is an anti-concept designed to obliterate the right to property by replacing it with a vague, undefined, limited [by "public" interests] "right" to privacy. [....]
Think of what such a "right" to say, "Don't look at me," or "Don't listen to me, even when I say, 'don't listen to me'," would mean. What kind of right could there be to have people not perceive you? Keep in mind that perceiving is not a volitional process. You couldn't prevent yourself from the possibility of violating another's "right" not to be seen, until you *did* see them and averted your gaze. To avoid violating that "right", you would have to avoid seeing anything at all.
Note that I include the right to contract as a corollary of the right to property.

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