Can the police strip-search a woman who has been arrested for a minor traffic violation? Can a magazine publish an embarrassing photo of you without your permission? Does your boss have the right to read your email? Can a company monitor its employees' off-the-job lifestyles--and fire those who drink, smoke, or live with a partner of the same sex? Although the word privacy does not appear in the Constitution, most of us believe that we have an inalienable right to be left alone. Yet in arenas that range from the battlefield of abortion to the information highway, privacy is under siege. In this eye-opening and sometimes hair-raising book, Alderman and Kennedy survey hundreds of recent cases in which ordinary citizens have come up against the intrusions of government, businesses, the news media, and their own neighbors. At once shocking and instructive, up-to-date and rich in historical perspective, The Right to Private is an invaluable guide to one of the most charged issues of our time.
"Anyone hoping to understand the sometimes precarious state of privacy in modern America should start by reading this book."--Washington Post Book World
"Skillfully weaves together unfamiliar, dramatic case histories...a book with impressive breadth."--Time
Coauthors of In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action, Alderman and Kennedy here present a pithy and practical casebook on our shrinking right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment, protecting against unreasonable seizures, does not necessarily prevent an arrested person from being strip-searched, and the authors consider a welter of legal and ethical dilemmas involving the clashing interests of people who wish to be left alone and employers, police and the press, whose jobs may make them intrusive. The use of metal detectors and drug tests in schools and workplaces, women's right to abortion and contraception, people suing to squelch reporting by the media, patients' right to refuse further medical treatment or to undergo assisted suicide, and claims against voyeurs are among the issues and conflicts discussed. Also examined are new privacy conflicts arising in the workplace as employers, facing rising health insurance costs and increased liability for employees' actions, demand--and often obtain--more information about their workers. 100,000 first printing; BOMC selection.