Right to privacy

by phil on Saturday Apr 12, 2003 2:07 PM

I hear a lot of talk these days about an American's right to privacy. One of the more annoying responses I hear in these discussions is along the lines of, "Our Constitution does not guarantee a right to privacy." At first, I'm like, yeah, this guy's right. But then, I start to think, hey, wait a second, "I thought the Constitution was designed to protect our natural rights." I took some civics classes in high school, I know what the Age of Enlightenment was all about. The ancestral man always had his own private life, why shouldn't I?

I w(o|a)nder a little bit further and think, is the right to privacy truly a natural right? What defines a natural right? Do natural rights preside only over what's within the skin. Or is nature something granted by our environment, and not something we're all innately entitled to? Or do these vague concepts such as enlightenment not matter since history rarely reflects the ideal and policy is driven by what is expedient? With Total Information Awareness and the Singularity around the corner, this may be something for the philosophists to think (or unthink) about.

Creative Commons License