Privacy—an elusive concept

Christopher Kuner, Fred H Cate, Christopher Millard, Dan Jerker B Svantesson

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearch

2 Citations (Scopus)


It is interesting to consider how difficult it is to describe what ‘privacy’ is. Attempts at defining privacy date back, at least, to Warren and Brandeis' 1890's description of it as the ‘right to be let alone’.1 Another, more recent, definition is that privacy is ‘The interest of a person in sheltering his or her life from unwanted interference or public scrutiny.’2 Perhaps an even more sophisticated definition would be to say that privacy relates to ‘[m]aterial that so closely pertains to a person to his[/her] innermost thoughts, actions and relationships that he[/she] may legitimately claim the prerogative of deciding whether, with whom and under what circumstances he[she] will share it.’3 None of these definitions could necessarily be said to be more correct than the others, but taken together they provide a useful composite view of what we mean when we talk about privacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-142
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Data Privacy Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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