Is Privacy a Right?


Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the US Constitution mention privacy at all. (Though the Declaration does mention "certain inalienable rights"—note the plural—which at least should include privacy. Thanks to dwest in his comment below for pointing that out.). Louis Brandeis and Samuel D. Warren began raised privacy to the fore with a landmark paper titled "The Right to Privacy". What they say in that paper about privacy invasions by photographers and newspapers foreshadows concerns about the same by mobile phone cameras and social media today—and to business models that are just as oblivious to privacy.

Rights demand responsibilities. Without the responsibility to enforce a right, then something cannot be considered as such. In the modern world, privacy is not a right, but a desire or expectation.