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Chapter 15 Invasion of Privacy Introduction The right to privacy is a subject of much current debate In its constitutional form it serves as a means of declaring invalid laws that interfere with abor tion homosexuality and other controversial activities However privacy as a tort doctrine is older than the claims for the constitutional status of a right to privacy As the following article illustrates it was a concern nearly a century ago In analyzing the right to privacy you must distinguish the forms that are recognized as a common law or even statutory right like the interest in one s reputation from the constitutional claim that requires protection of some individual s privacy Even if there is no constitutional right protecting e g abortion on demand the state through the court system or through the legislature may choose to recognize the right to be let alone The right to privacy is broken down into distinct interests some of which protect the right to be let alone and others which protect the proper ty interest in one s likeness or name But in general the interest in privacy protects against certain kinds of exploitation of private individuals by society Warren Brandeis The Right to Privacy 4 H ARV L R EV 193 193 197 1890 That the individual shall have full protection in person and in property is a principle as old as the common law but it has been found necessary from time to time to define anew the exact nature and extent of such protection Political social and economic changes entail the recognition of new rights and the common law in its eternal youth grows to meet the demands of society Thus in very early times the law gave a remedy only for physical interference with life and property for trespasses vi et armis Then the right to life served only to protect the subject from battery in its various forms liberty meant freedom from actual restraint and the right to proper ty secured to the individual his lands and his cattle Later there came a recognition of

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