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Current & Recent Research at Penn Law

Author: Allen, Anita L.
Citation: UNPOPULAR PRIVACY: WHAT MUST WE HIDE? (Oxford University Press 2011).
Date Published: 2011
Date Posted: 08/03/2011
Subjects: Law and Philosophy/Jurisprudence
Law, Technology and Communications
Keywords: Philosophy
Privacy Law
Can the government stick us with privacy we don't want? It can, it does and it may need to do more of it. Privacy is a foundational good, a necessary tool in the liberty-lover's kit for a successful life. A nation committed to personal freedom must be prepared to mandate inalienable, liberty-promoting privacies for its people, whether they eagerly embrace them or not. This book about seclusion, concealment, confidentiality and data-protection draws attention to just such unpopular forms of privacy--privacies disvalued by their intended beneficiaries and targets--and outlines the best reasons for imposing them, and the worst. The book looks at laws designed to keep website operators from collecting personal information from young children, anti-nudity laws that force strippers to wear pasties and thongs, and the myriad employee and professional confidentiality rules--including insider trading laws--that require strict silence about matters whose disclosure could earn us small fortunes. She shows that such laws--and ethical rules of concealment currently strained by trends in media and technology--recognize the extraordinary importance of dignity, reputation, and trust, and help to preserve social, economic and political options throughout a lifetime.