Right to Know and Right to Privacy

Topics: Law, Human rights, Supreme Court of the United States Pages: 12 (4871 words) Published: September 27, 2012
Title: Right to Know & Right to Privacy
1. Constitutional and Civil Rights
A constitutional right is a right granted by a country's constitution, and cannot be legally denied by the government. Civil rights are the protections and privileges of personal liberty given to all citizens by law. Examples of civil rights and liberties include the right to get redress if injured by another, the right to privacy, the right of peaceful protest, the right to a fair investigation and trial if suspected of a crime, and more generally-based constitutional rights such as the right to vote, the right to personal liberty, the right to life, the right to freedom of movement, the right to business and profession, the right to freedom of speech and expression. As civilizations emerged and formalized through written constitutions, some of the more important civil rights were granted to citizens. When those grants were later found inadequate, civil rights movements emerged as the vehicle for claiming more equal protection of law and equality before law for all citizens and advocating new laws to restrict the effect of discriminations. Some civil rights are granted in written constitution and some are implied by customs and courts decisions. 2. Right to Privacy

In most of the common law constitutions, right to privacy is not given expressly to their citizens, but derived from judicial review and court decisions. The term "privacy" has been described as "the rightful claim of the individual to determine the extent to which he wishes to share of himself with others and his control over the time, place and circumstances to communicate with others. It means his right to withdraw or to participate as he sees fit. It also means the individual's right to control dissemination of information about himself; it is his own personal possession" Privacy has also been defined as a Zero-relationship between two or more persons in the sense that there is no interaction or communication between them, if they so choose . Numerous legal and moral philosophers have suggested that privacy is valued because it satisfies a number of primary human needs. The Right to Privacy in the USA

In the U.S.A., the common law did not recognize any right to privacy. So, courts in the United States did not consider privacy as a right to be protected until the eve of the twentieth century. The need for a law to protect privacy was articulated as early as 1890 when an article titled The Right to Privacy was published by Warren and Brandies in Harvard Law Review. This article laid the foundation of privacy right in the USA. Though there were hundreds of cases related to right to privacy came to the courts, the first higher American court to deal with the right to privacy was a New York appellate court in 1902 in Roberson v. Rochester Folding Box Co. Chief Justice Parker in that case said: in that defendants had invaded what is called a 'right of privacy'--in other words, the right to be let alone. Mention of such a right is not to be found in Blackstone, Kent or any other of the great commentators upon the law, nor so far as the learning of counsel or the courts in this case have been able to discover, does its existence seem to have been asserted prior to about the year 1890, when it was presented with attractiveness and no inconsiderable ability in the Harvard Law Review (Vol. IV, page 193) in an article entitled, 'The Right of Privacy.' The so-called right of privacy is, as the phrase suggests, founded upon the claim that a man has the right to pass through this world, if he wills, without having his picture published, his business enterprises discussed, his successful experiments written up for the benefit of others, or his eccentricities commented upon either in handbills, circulars, catalogues, periodicals or newspapers, and, necessarily, that the things which may not be written and published of him must not be spoken of him by his neighbors, whether the comment be favorable...
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