Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide

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Can the government stick us with privacy we don't want? It can, it does, and according to the author, it may need to do more of it. Privacy is a foundational good, she argues, a necessary tool in the liberty lover's kit for a successful life. A nation committed to personal freedom must be prepared to mandate privacy protections for its people, whether they eagerly embrace them or not. This book draws attention to privacies of seclusion, concealment, confidentiality and data-protection undervalued by their intended beneficiaries and targets, and outlines the best reasons for imposing them. The author looks at laws designed to keep website operators from collecting personal information, laws that force strippers to wear thongs, and the myriad employee and professional confidentiality rules, including insider trading laws, that require strict silence about matters whose disclosure could earn us small fortunes. She shows that such laws recognize the extraordinary importance of dignity, trust and reputation, helping to preserve social, economic and political options throughout a lifetime.

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