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Privacy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 21 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (21 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199556539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199556533
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 0.8 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory, University of Hong Kong, and a leading authority on privacy. He has written many major publications on privacy over the last 30 years including Law, Morality, and the Private Domain (Hong Kong University Press, 2000); Privacy and Press Freedom (OUP, 1995), and many articles in academic journals.

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Format: Paperback
Privacy has increasingly been considered one of the major individual rights. And yet, until recently the right to privacy has not been explicitly defined in almost any legal framework. In the common law jurisdictions the right to privacy has largely been slipped into the law through some high-profile legal cases, of which the most famous instance has been the "Roe v. Wade" case in the United States. This case granted the legal right to abortion by inferring a right to privacy, which for a century had been deemed to stem from "emanations of a penumbra" of the constitution. The right to privacy has been more systematically imbued into the laws of civil law jurisdictions, most notably in recent years the legal system of the European Union. All these examples hopefully illustrate the fact that privacy is not such an easy and straightforward topic as it may at first seem, and this book does a superb job of guiding the reader through many legal and cultural complexities of this intriguing subject.

The book is very good at contrasting different attitude towards privacy in the United States and Europe. However, there is much less attention that is paid to the privacy standard and norms in the rest of the World. The book also deals with the tension that is present between our ideals of privacy and free speech. In particular, it is not always easy to discern when the right to voice one's opinions and broadcast facts about others infringes on the expectation of privacy that we have about our personal lives. This becomes a serious issue for individuals who become public figures: does the fact that they are public figures somehow voids many of their privacy rights?
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Format: Paperback

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Raymond Wacks has created an in-depth exploration in only 150 pages, of the increasingly complex and controversial subject of privacy with this new addition to the OUP’s ‘Very Short Introduction’ series of pocket-sized books on academic subjects; short enough that is, for beleaguered commuters to read on the train, or, say, harassed lawyers to read in the courtroom corridor.

This book is one of over 200 small-format books in this admirable series which covers everything from African history to Wittgenstein and world trade. Written by experts, they are intended as a stimulating and accessible way into a new subject – and very accessible they are, Professor Wacks’s ‘Privacy’ being a prime example.

As he states in the Preface, Wax’s association with privacy and data protection has been from a legal perspective; the law, in his words, being ‘an indispensable instrument in the protection of privacy.’

The subject however encompasses other dimensions -- social, cultural political and psychological. Wacks’s stated aim is ‘to consider these—and several others -- forces that shape our understanding of this challenging concept.’

Speaking of law and lawyers, there is, to our knowledge, no more erudite and persuasive an advocate for protecting privacy than Wacks. If you ever find yourself in a debate on privacy versus free speech, this is the succinct yet thoroughly researched source of some very effective arguments in favour of privacy.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent Book, very informative and raise some interesting topics discussed
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