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Personal Information: Privacy and the Law

ISBN13: 9780198256113
ISBN: 0198256116
Published: September 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

Since the famous essay by Warren and Brandeis almost a century ago, the confusion generated by the traditional account of "privacy" continues to obstruct legal protection. This book examines the plausibilty of an alternative analysis that might facilitate a less obscure account of the problems involved and, in consequence, offer a more effective means of resolving them. The essence of the argument is that at the heart of the concern about privacy is the use and misuse of personal information about an individual. In each of the four main areas identified (breach of confidence, the public disclosure of private facts, the collection and computerization of personal data, and the intrusions upon the individual by simple or electronic surveillance) it is argued that, by locating as the core of the problem the protection of "personal information", many of the difficulties that continue to beset this area of the law might be resolved.

Part 1 "Privacy" and "personal information": the private and the public
defining "privacy"
an alternative approach
"personal information"
the economics of "personal information".
Part 2 "Privacy", "personal information" and the law: the American law
the American common law and "personal information"
the English law
"personal information" as "property".
Part 3 "Personal information" and breach of confidence: the action for breach of confidence
cases involving "personal information"
breach of confidence and "personal information".
Part 4 Measuring the extent of the problem.
Part 5 The public disclosure of "personal information": the conventional analysis
the alternative analysis.
Part 6 The collection of "personal information": the problems
the remedies
the Data Protection Act 1984.
Part 7 "Personal information" and intrusion: spying and electronic surveillance
interception of correspondence
searches and other physical intrusions
gathering of information by the news media
exclusion of evidence improperly obtained.