The right of privacy is not expressly stated in the constitution. In the 1800s Supreme Court Justices Warren and Brandeis put forward the idea that people have a right of privacy. The 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments also provide some protection of privacy, although in all cases the right is narrowly defined.
Privacy protection serves both as a test and yardstick for us in seeing how well we perform and whether we can meet the challenges.
Human resource professionals should play a key role in translating legal privacy issues into practice. It's "easy to have your general counsel stamp out something that reads like a lawyer wrote it," says Bernard Ruesgen, SPHR, logistics HR group manager for retail chain Sports Authority. HR professionals have "to put a human touch on the whole process."
At work people are using company computers and may be subject to their employeers viewing their internet history. Some companies have their employees sign over these rights, in order to monitor their using history. If a company doesn't have an employee sign over these rights or notify them about monitoring their history, then there is the assumption that they don't have the legal right to infringe on their employees.
Privacy issues arise with increasing frequency in such diverse areas as media coverage of personal or quasi-public matters,(7) electronic surveillance in the workplace, and data collection by banks, credit bureaus, and other institutions. One area in which such privacy debate is now beginning to take shape is the emergent world of electronic communications networks. This article focuses on privacy issues relating to electronic communication networks where the tension between individual privacy rights and commercial interests in free information access is coming sharply into focus.
The right of privacy is considered one of the major challenges in this century (Markesinis, 1999).The advent of the Internet age further complicated issues, and there is indeed a need for an effective and sensible right of privacy under a new legal paradigm. (1) This section is an attempt to describe such a right of privacy.
Current Privacy Laws are Outdated
The Privacy Act was implemented prior to the Internet, and the recent rapid developments in new technologies which affect mobile phones, e-commerce, social networking sites, surveillance devices and digital cameras, among others. Concerns about the complexity of the law and confusion around the application of overlapping privacy laws at the federal and state/territory levels have led to the Government's plans to enact a single privacy regime which will apply across the private sector as well as continuing to apply to the Commonwealth public sector.
The founding fathers did not anticipate modern day issues and dilemmas, they did not foresee the technological advancements that have come about. When they drafted the laws and rights for citiziens, they did not know the modern day problems that their laws would be applied to. The Supreme Court interprets the constitution, trying to decide how the laws should be applied in modern day court cases. The right of privacy is one such law that require much interpretation.
The right of privacy has evolved to protect the ability of individuals to determine what sort of information about themselves is collected, and how that information is used. Most commercial websites utilize "cookies," as well as forms, to collect information from visitors such as name, address, email, demographic info, social security number, IP address, and financial information. In many cases, this information is then provided to third parties for marketing purposes. Other entities, such as the federal government and financial institutions, also collect personal information. The threats of fraud and identity theft created by this flow of personal information have been an impetus for right of privacy legislation requiring disclosure of information collection practices, opt-out opportunities, as well as internal protections of collected information.
The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision written by Justice William O. Douglas, ruled that the law violated the "right to marital privacy" and could not be enforced against married people. Justice Douglas contended that the Bill of Right's specific guarantees have "penumbras," created by "emanations from these guarantees that help give them life and opinion." In other words, the "spirit" of the First Amendment (free speech), Third Amendment (prohibition on the forced quartering of troops), Fourth Amendment (freedom from searches and seizures), Fifth Amendment (freedom from self-incrimination), and Ninth Amendment (other rights), as applied against the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, creates a general "right to privacy" that cannot be unduly infringed.
In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court ruled that a state's ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. The case concerned a Connecticut law that criminalized the encouragement or use of birth control. The 1879 law provided that "any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purposes of preventing conception shall be fined not less than forty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days." The law further provided that "any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principle offender."
The first Supreme Court decision to fully articulate the right to privacy was Griswold v. Connecticut, which held that the right to privacy included the right for married couples to use contraceptives. In Griswold, Justice Douglas, writing for the Court, famously explained that the guarantees in the Bill of Rights have "penumbras," or somewhat hazy, but obviously present, extensions, which must be read as creating "zones of privacy, such as the First Amendment right of association, the Third Amendment prohibition against quartering soldiers in a home, the Fourth Amendment right to be secure in one's person, house, papers and effects, the Fifth Amendment right to not surrender anything to one's detriment, and the Ninth Amendment right to not deny or disparage any right retained by the people."
Ever since Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis published their seminal article on the fight to privacy more than a century ago,(1) the contours of privacy both as a moral-philosophical concept and as a legal fight have been subject to persistent scholarly scrutiny and debate...
Warren and Brandeis wrote their perspective on the right of privacy in the 1800s, but their interpretation is still relevant today; they touched upon photography and invading on people's private moments. Legal matters tend to look back on prior opinions and decisions (commonly referred to as precedents), to form modern day resolutions. Warren and Brandeis have become pillars for the discussion of the right to privacy.
The most obvious protection of privacy in the Bill of Rights is the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals in their persons, homes, papers, and effects from "unreasonable searches and seizures" by the government. The First Amendment, which protects freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly, also implicitly safeguards the right to privacy in the form of freedom of thought and intellect. As eloquently articulated by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in his famous dissent in Olmstead v. United States: "The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness . . . They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations.
Distinct from the right of publicity protected by state common or statutory law, a broader right of privacy has been inferred in the Constitution. Although not explicity stated in the text of the Constitution, in 1890 then to be Justice Louis Brandeis extolled 'a right to be left alone.' This right has developed into a liberty of personal autonomy protected by the 14th amendment. The 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments also provide some protection of privacy, although in all cases the right is narrowly defined. The Constitutional right of privacy has developed alongside a statutory right of privacy which limits access to personal information. The Federal Trade Commission overwhelmingly enforces this statutory right of privacy, and the rise of privacy policies and privacy statements are evidence of its work. In all of its forms, however, the right of privacy must be balanced against the state's compelling interests. Such compelling interests include the promotion of public morality, protection of the individual's psychological health, and improving the quality of life.
The U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information.