This paper combines modern legal scholars' and biblical literature's treatment of a right to privacy. Beginning with a reassessment of Warren & Brandeis' "right to be let alone" as the first legal treatment of a right to privacy, the authors explore the right to privacy’s roots in ancient ethical standards. This is done via a study of privacy as it is treated in biblical literature. What emerge are two themes that are central to ethical decision-making with regard to privacy. The first is that breaches of privacy are irreversible, an idea that is informative as to why privacy is valued so highly. The second addresses the decision dilemmas that arise when privacy and its underlying values conflict with other rights and values. These dilemmas confront business executives, technology developers and engineers, government agents, press and media managers, and others who need to decide how to protect privacy in situations not yet covered by existing privacy laws. These front-line decision makers must make judgments based on pre-existing ethical precepts and traditions because often privacy laws lag behind the problems they are written to address.
Glass, Benjamin and Cahn, E. Susanna
"Privacy Ethics in Biblical Literature,"
Journal of Religion and Business Ethics: Vol. 3
, Article 6.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/jrbe/vol3/iss2/6