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Privacy, Liberty and Security

Part of the Information Technology and Law Series book series (ITLS,volume 25)


This chapter provides an overview of the concept of privacy, liberty and security; outlines the merits of privacy; provides an overview of the international legal instruments that stipulate the right to privacy; and clarifies the interrelationship between privacy, liberty, and security.


  • Privacy
  • Liberty
  • Security
  • Human rights

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-6265-026-8_2
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  1. 1.

    Wacks 1980, p. 10. For further discussion, see Taylor 2002.

  2. 2.

    Taylor 2002, p. 76.

  3. 3.

    See, e.g., Solove 2006.

  4. 4.

    Stephen 1873, p. 160.

  5. 5.

    Feldman 2012.

  6. 6.

    Schermer 2007.

  7. 7.

    Warren and Brandeis 1890, p. 193.

  8. 8.

    For the purposes of this book, “information privacy” is synonymous with “data protection”.

  9. 9.

    Westin 1967, p. 7.

  10. 10.

    Thompson 2008.

  11. 11.

    For further discussion on the scope of privacy, see, e.g., Nissenbaum 2004.

  12. 12.

    The “right to be left alone” is often associated with the freedom from unreasonable, unlawful or disproportionate surveillance and the right to be free from unnecessary or excessive disturbance.

  13. 13.

    See, for further discussion, Nissenbaum 2004.

  14. 14.

    See Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46/EC.

  15. 15.

    Solove 2006, 2008.

  16. 16.

    See, e.g., Feldman 1994.

  17. 17.

    See also, for further discussion, e.g., Feldman 2002.

  18. 18.

    Warner 2005.

  19. 19.

    Taylor 2002, p. 82.

  20. 20.

    Schermer 2007.

  21. 21.


  22. 22.


  23. 23.

    Hence the reason, for example, why Section 222(a)(5)(A) of the Homeland Security Act requires the DHS Chief Privacy Officer to “coordinate with the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to ensure that programs, policies and procedures involving civil rights, civil liberties and privacy considerations are addressed in an integrated and comprehensive manner”. (emphasis added).

  24. 24.

    OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data (1980), para 29.

  25. 25.

    Holtzman 2006, p. 53.

  26. 26.

    R. v. Dyment [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417, at 427–8.

  27. 27.

    Westin 1967, p. 24.

  28. 28.

    Global privacy standards for a global world 2009.

  29. 29.

    Schermer 2007, p. 121.

  30. 30.

    Ibid., p. 73.

  31. 31.


  32. 32.

    For further discussion, see, e.g., Feldman 1994.

  33. 33.

    See, e.g., Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), Article 6.

  34. 34.

    Data security concerns the security of information technology/infrastructures and the information stored thereof.

  35. 35.

    Cyber security has become absolutely essential for national security and the security of critical infrastructure.

  36. 36.

    See, for further discussion, Etzioni 1999.

  37. 37.

    Constitution Committee—Second Report, Surveillance: citizens and the state (Session 2008–2009), para. 45, available at: Accessed 12 February 2014.

  38. 38.

    See, e.g., the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 52(1).

  39. 39.

    For example, during the post-i2010 Public Hearing on “Priorities for a new strategy for European Information Society” held 23 September 2009 in Brussels, which I attended, a representative from the Creative and Media Business Alliance (CMBA) made the following oral statement: “Some, such as cyber-squatters, spammers, identity thieves, virus disseminators, cyber-bullies and other illegal content providers call for more “data protection” and “safe harbours” on the Internet in the name of freedom of expression and hide behind these but do not respect them themselves”. CMBA’s full statement is available at: Accessed 12 February 2014.

  40. 40.

    For example, the recording and recent publication of detailed images of the perimeters of the headquarters of the SAS (British Special Forces) by Google on Street View, including its precise location, has been deemed a serious threat to security by UK military leaders and Members of Parliament. See “Fury as Google puts the SAS’s secret base on Street View in ‘very serious security breach’”. Daily Mail, 19 March 2010, available at: Accessed 12 February 2014.

  41. 41.

    Smith 1776.

  42. 42.

    Paley 1785, pp. 444–445.


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Klitou, D. (2014). Privacy, Liberty and Security. In: Privacy-Invading Technologies and Privacy by Design. Information Technology and Law Series, vol 25. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague.

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