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Criminal Law

2011

Indiana Law Journal

Privacy

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The Boundaries Of Privacy Harm, M. Ryan Calo Jul 2011

The Boundaries Of Privacy Harm, M. Ryan Calo

Indiana Law Journal

Just as a burn is an injury caused by heat, so is privacy harm a unique injury with specific boundaries and characteristics. This Essay describes privacy harm as falling into two related categories. The subjective category of privacy harm is the perception of unwanted observation. This category describes unwelcome mental states—anxiety, embarrassment, fear—that stem from the belief that one is being watched or monitored. Examples of subjective privacy harms include everything from a landlord eavesdropping on his tenants to generalized government surveillance.

The objective category of privacy harm is the unanticipated or coerced use of information concerning a person against …