Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

Elizabeth Paton-Simpson, ‘Privacy and the Reasonable Paranoid: The Protection of Privacy in Public Places‘ (2000) 50 (3) Univ of Toronto L J 305

This article examines and critiques the ‘reasonable paranoid’ approach to the assessment of reasonable expectations of privacy. It explains how this approach has distorted thinking about privacy in public places and how it has also been applied in analogous situations where individuals take risks with their privacy, such as by using the telephone, giving a blood sample, or having a film developed. The first part of this article describes the reasonable paranoid standard in American privacy law and examines to what extent this approach has been influential in Canada and New Zealand. The second part addresses the empirical and normative assumptions underlying the reasonable paranoid standard. It attempts a realistic, non-paranoid assessment of the risks to privacy in public places, affirming that reasonable people do, in fact, enjoy and rely upon a significant degree of public privacy. It disputes the notion that failure to take precautions such as Prudence’s signifies a waiver of any rights to privacy. Finally, it argues that public privacy is an important and valuable component of the overall level of privacy for an individual or society and should be afforded a degree of legal protection, while maintaining a balance with competing interests.

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Helen Nissenbaum, ‘Protecting Privacy in an Information Age: The Problem of Privacy in Public‘ (1998) 17 Law and Philosophy 559

In this article, the author argues that information and  communications technology, by facilitating surveillance, by vastly enhancing the collection, storage, and analysis of information, by enabling profiling, data mining and aggregation, has significantly altered the meaning of public information. As a result, a satisfactory legal and philosophical understanding of a right to privacy, capable of protecting the important values at stake in protecting privacy, must incorporate, in addition to traditional aspects of privacy, a degree of protection for privacy in public.

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Madhavi Divan, ‘The Right to Privacy in the Age of Information and Communications‘ (2002) 4 SCC (Jour) 12

This article argues that development of the media in modern times has a special relevance to the evolution of the law of privacy as technology blurs the traditional boundaries between systems. It also compares the situation in India to that of USA and England. The author concludes that is time Indian lawmakers enacted laws to protect privacy rather than laws that license intrusion into private affairs. At the same time, it is also necessary to preserve the tenuous balance between the right of the individual to be let alone and the fundamental right to free speech, expression and information.

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Robert Mills, ‘Radio, Television and the Right of Privacy’ (1968) 13 Journal of Broadcasting 51

This article explores the changes that need to be incorporated in the law relating to the right to privacy in light of new communication media such as the radio and television. The arguments made here can be correlated to arguments made by several authors about the need to revise privacy laws in light of the internet and development in technology.

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Randall P Bezanson, ‘The Right to Privacy Revisited: Privacy, News, and Social Change, 1890-1990‘ (1992) 80 Cal L Rev 1133.

This article is a modern take on the seminal article by Warren and Bradeis on the right to privacy. The author argues that the context has changed drastically since the nineteenth century, and hence there is a need to redefine the contours of the right to privacy in accordance with the latest communication media. Particularly, the author argues that there must a duty on those in possession of confidential information, rather then privacy hinging on an individual’s expectation.

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Gerald Ashdown, ‘Media Reporting and Privacy Claims- Decline in Constitutional Protection for the Press’ (1977) 66 Ky L J 759

This article deals with the conflict that exists between the freedom of press and the right to privacy of an individual. It discusses case law relating to this issue and tries to identify the criteria based on which courts have balanced these two conflicting rights.

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Michael Doherty, ‘The Right to Tell One’s Own Story Balancing Privacy and Expression Claims‘ (2007) 5 Web JCLI

This article addresses recent developments in the courts’ approach to the difficult balance between privacy claims and expression claims under Articles 8 and 10 European Convention of Human Rights. It argues that, despite clear guidance from the House of Lords, the lower courts have adopted a methodology that does not promote a fair and effective balancing of the rights. It argues further that the personal interest of an individual in communicating their own story has not been consistently recognised and incorporated into the balancing process. As personal speech claims are based on the same values of informational autonomy and self-development as privacy claims, this results in a conceptual as well as a practical imbalance.

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