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Do we have the right to privacy?

With the proliferation of tabloid news sites, websites, social media pages and reality tv, it would seem that we have no right to privacy. Is it possible that one has no right to protect themselves from salacious gossip – even true gossip? When does one person’s right to freedom of speech trump another’s right to confidentiality? How do we quantify damage to reputation? What does Judaism have to say about all this? These are the topics we will address this Shabbat morning as we continue with Part II of the Summer Sermon Series on Words that Hurt, Words that Heal. This week’s topic is entitled, “How We Speak About Others.”

In anticipation of the talk, please take a few moments to peruse the “Right to Privacy” here –

The article was written for Harvard Law Review over a hundred years ago, it could easily have been written yesterday.

"The Right to Privacy" (4 Harvard L.R. 193 (Dec. 15, 1890)) is a law review article written by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, and published in the 1890 Harvard Law Review. It is "one of the most influential essays in the history of American law"[1] and is widely regarded as the first publication in the United States to advocate a right to privacy, articulating that right primarily as a "right to be let alone".

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