chapter  12
16 Pages

Privacy: Charting its Developments and Prospects

ByRebecca Wong

Introduction Since the publication of the influential paper ‘The right to privacy’ by Samuel D Warren and Louis D Brandeis, the study of privacy has evolved into a topical discussion of the development of the subject, ranging from its philosophical foundations to its legal development.1 How privacy has been interpreted depends on the context, but its interpretation has been the subject of divergent opinion, ranging from those who take a reductionist approach to those who hold that privacy is unique in its own right. The legal protection of privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights has, however, taken a wider approach, preferring to detach itself from the very definition of ‘privacy’ as a concept, and focusing its attention instead on the aspects that form part of private life and balancing this with the provision on freedom of expression. This will be the subject of discussion later in this chapter. To begin with, the question that arises is: what legal developments have arisen following Warren and Brandeis’ seminal paper?