Privacy. We want lots of it for ourselves. We love to invade the privacy of others. We are willing to trade it for benefits of all kinds, including credit, social services, and friendship. Why is this? Where should we draw a line? How should we handle our ambivalence in an era in which privacy often appears to be under official attack? This book explores such questions by rooting into scarce literature to explain why privacy is such a strong need, reviewing a variety of methods for guarding privacy, and concluding that at one time America was a very fortunate place privacy-wise. McLean examines problem areas in which privacy invasions play, or have played, large roles. Rape and sexual offenses are analyzed; so, too, is news reporting that touches private matters and race relations.
Privacy and its Invasion also has a point to make: that privacy, despite its dark side, is an idea whose time has come, an ancient need that now requires explicit endorsement and protection as a value. A thought-provoking examination of something we have come to regard as a basic right, but a right under assault, this book is for all concerned with contemporary social and legal issues, civil liberties, and communications.