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Group Privacy pp 197-224 | Cite as

Do Groups Have a Right to Protect Their Group Interest in Privacy and Should They? Peeling the Onion of Rights and Interests Protected Under Article 8 ECHR

  • Bart van der SlootEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 126)

Abstract

Privacy is perhaps the most elusive of all human rights – difficult to define, dependent for its meaning on context, epoch, person and culture and contested ever since it was first formulated. One of the reasons is that privacy is at the same time both the most individual and the most general, the most personal and the most abstract of all human rights. The right to privacy under the ECHR originates in the doctrine simply prohibiting states to abuse their powers. Consequently, a right to complain about the abuse of power was granted not only to individuals, but also to legal persons, groups and states, as the value at stake with privacy violations was a societal interest. Gradually, under the interpretation of the ECtHR, the right to privacy has become more and more focused on natural persons and individual interests, so that groups and legal persons are in principle denied a right to complain under Article 8 ECHR. This paradigm has functioned relatively well for decades as most privacy violations were targeted at specific individuals. However, under the current technological paradigm, often referred to as big data, the threats to privacy increasingly do not materialize on an individual level, but on a general or group level. Should groups then be allowed to invoke a right to privacy to protect their own interest?

Keywords

Group privacy Legal persons Privacy Data protection Rights Interests 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and SocietyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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