Privacy Rights and Press Freedoms

Essay by Manuels1999College, Undergraduate July 2008

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Privacy 1

Privacy Rights and Press Freedoms

Cindy A. Delgado Guzman

ADJ 255 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

Axia College of University of Phoenix

Mr. Steven List

August 26, 2007

Privacy 2

Privacy Rights and Press Freedoms

The term "privacy" is used frequently in ordinary language as well as in philosophical, political and legal discussions, yet there is no single definition or analysis or meaning of the term. The concept of privacy has broad historical roots in sociological and anthropological discussions about how extensively it is valued and preserved in various cultures. Moreover, the concept has historical origins in well known philosophical discussions, most notably Aristotle's distinction between the public sphere of political activity and the private sphere associated with family and domestic life. Yet historical use of the term is not uniform, and there remains confusion over the meaning, value and scope of the concept of privacy. Early treatises on privacy appeared with the development of privacy protection in American law from the 1890's onward, and privacy protection was justified largely on moral grounds.

This literature helps distinguish descriptive accounts of privacy, describing what is in fact protected as private, from normative accounts of privacy defending its value and the extent to which it should be protected. In these discussions some treat privacy as an interest with moral value, while others refer to it as a moral or legal right that ought to be protected by society or the law. Clearly one can be insensitive to another's privacy interests without violating any right to privacy, if there is one (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006). Since as early as the 17th century, there has been controversy regarding the subject of privacy rights and press freedoms. While America is one of the few countries in the world that allows the press...