Rapid technological change, the advent of Big Data, and the creation of society-wide government surveillance programs have transformed the accessibility of highly personal information; these developments have highlighted the ambiguous treatment of privacy and personal intimacy. National legal systems vouchsafe and define "privacy," and its first cousin "dignity," in different ways that reflect local legal and cultural values. Yet, in an increasingly globalized
world, purely local protection of privacy interests may prove insufficient to safeguard effectively fundamental autonomy interests - interests that lie at the core of self-definition, personal autonomy, and freedom.
Privacy Revisited articulates the legal meanings of privacy and dignity through the lens of comparative law, and argues that the concept of privacy requires a more systematic approach if it is to be useful in framing and protecting certain fundamental autonomy interests. The book begins by providing relevant, and reasonably detailed, information about both the substantive and procedural protections of privacy/dignity in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and among
Council of Europe member states. Second, the book explores the inherent tension between affording significant legal protection to the right of privacy (or human dignity) and securing expressive freedoms, notably including the freedom of speech and of the press. The author then posits that the protection of
privacy helps to illuminate some of the underlying social and political values that lead the U.S. to fail to protect privacy as reliably or as comprehensively as other liberal democracies. Finally, the book establishes that although privacy and speech come into conflict with some regularity, it is both useful and necessary to start thinking about the important ways in which both rights are integral to the maintenance of democratic self-government.