Intimacy and Privacy – The Right to Protect It

January 18, 2020
The right to protect intimacy and privacy is one of those things that's been most impacted by the advancements in technology. The fact that your data is now a precious asset that demands an update of the laws that regulate it.

The need to protect one’s intimacy and privacy is innate in every human being. One must understand certain things about individuality in order to develop one’s identity and personality. Thus, it’s understandable for human beings to want to have a private life.

It’s clear that some personal rights are more threatened with the evolution of new technologies such as the right to privacy and intimacy. Also, with the combination of these rights and the right to freedom of information. Particularly since the development of social networks and the Internet.

This article will analyze the right to privacy and intimacy, its limits, and its relationship with new technologies.

A magnifying glass pointing at a keyhole.

The right to protect your intimacy and privacy

The respect for private life and privacy, both personal and familial, are fundamental human values.

Thus, the right to privacy, private life, and intimacy is a fundamental human right. Mainly due to which one has the power to exclude or protect certain parts of one’s life from others. This right includes:

  • The right to the sanctity of one’s home.
  • Also, the right to private correspondence.
  • The right to private communication.
  • The right to one’s honor.
  • In addition, the right to one’s self-image.
  • And the right not to participate in collective life and to isolate oneself voluntarily.
  • The right not to be disturbed.

In addition, these rights have to do with many others, such as the right not to externalize what you’re thinking (part of freedom of expression) and freedom of procreation and sexual preference.

These are fundamental human rights, established by various international institutions. For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes in its article 12 that no one should be subject to arbitrary interference in their private, family, correspondence, or home or libel and defamation. In addition, it says that everyone has the right to legal protection against such attacks or interference.

What are the limits of the right to privacy?

Governments face a dilemma when it comes to protecting an individual’s right to privacy. They have difficulties maintaining the balance between the right to their citizen’s privacy and their protection against theft, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks, among other things.

Thus, if one interprets the right to privacy in absolute terms, then one could prevent criminal prosecution. The following factors define the right to privacy:

  • Protection of public order, health, and morality.
  • National health protection.
  • Protection of your rights and freedom and those of others.

Some constitutions expressly mention the right to privacy. Others have it implicitly through laws that protect against the illegal invasion of privacy. At this point, let’s emphasize that private life is more vulnerable to the advances made in espionage techniques.

A lock above a keyboard.

Internet privacy and development

There’s no doubt that the Internet revolutionized all aspects of human lives. Today, everyone can create online content, thanks to publishing tools. This phenomenon is reflected in blogs, opinion forums, and social networks.

This situation sparked the debate about the right to privacy: what do you understand by privacy? How do you protect your rights on the World Wide Web?

You might think that the essential services you find online are free, but in, reality, you’re paying for them when you add your own data. Many people argue that companies receive financing from generic advertising. However, this income is insufficient: your profile, tastes, and consumption habits are data currently being collected online for commercial (selective advertising), economic, political, and security purposes.

An example of this information transfer is cookies, which are files websites send to your computer to identify your browser. Marketers use cookies to improve service quality by storing user preferences and behavioral trends.

  • Monografías, https://www.monografias.com/trabajos32/derecho-intimidad/derecho-intimidad2.shtml
  • Unla, http://www.unla.mx/iusunla3/reflexion/derecho%20a%20la%20intimidad.htm
  • Fundación Telefónica, https://telos.fundaciontelefonica.com/archivo/numero085/intimidad-privacidad-y-honor-en-internet/
  • Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos, https://www.un.org/es/universal-declaration-human-rights/