26 March 2010

Privacy in a public world

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Privacy
The concept of “privacy” is incredibly different depending on which side of the Atlantic you live, says Eric Reiss. And in an increasingly globalized world, it’s becoming more and more important to acknowledge these divergent points of view.

“Americans tend to be less concerned than Europeans. Privacy, after all, is not a clear constitutional right whereas freedom of speech is. Freedom of speech is actually the first article in the U.S. Bill of Rights. It’s not that Americans don’t value privacy, but they often view it as a tool to prevent government from overstepping its authority. This represents a fundamental difference in the way Americans and Europeans react to privacy issues.

In Europe, privacy is considered a basic human right. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights spells it out, “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” To put things in perspective, freedom of speech first comes in Article 10.”

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