Part I: The Right to Privacy
Privacy (function: noun)
: freedom from unauthorized intrusion : state of being let alone and able to keep certain esp. personal matters to oneself
privacy. Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/privacy (accessed: April 08, 2011)
The right to Privacy, is an individual right. One cannot argue for individual rights in absolute terms; one can only argue for an individual’s possession and free exercise of the right.
As far as privacy is concerned, it’s the ability to keep certain matters to oneself that counts. The right (ability) to keep certain matters to oneself assumes that the individual also retains the ability to share personal matters with others of their choosing. As such, it is up to the individual to determine what personal information is most appropriately kept to themselves.
Privacy is not unique in this manner. All rights come with the freedom to use them as the individual sees fit. If a right is guaranteed, possessed and freely exercised by the individual, not using the right in any obvious way is wholly consistent with possessing the right. Freedom of speech does not require one to say everything one thinks; Freedom of Religion does not require one to be religious. In a diverse society, one good test for whether an individual right is actually being enjoyed is if it is being expressed in a wide variety of ways by different individuals.
So, in individual cases, the expression of a right can, and often does appear as the total lack of expressing the right. This is what makes rights of an entirely different political character than duties.
Part II: The Nature of Consent
Part III: Transparency
Part IV: A Framework for the Discussion of Privacy Issues
Part V: Filling in the framework; Absolute advocacy dos and don'ts
Part VI: Filling in the framework, subjectivity and interpretation