Bedoya’s argument—and James’s in Jack’s case—is based on the principles of antidiscrimination that govern modern civil rights law. Under state and federal law, powerful entities, both public and private, must not deprive people of vital opportunities because of their race, age, national origin, religion, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. People have the right to work, go to school, get loans, use public transportation, vote and get housing without blatant discrimination.
Bedoya and James are right — gender, sexual and racial equality, and privacy are a package deal. Women, LGBTQ individuals, nonwhites and people with disabilities bear a disproportionate share of privacy violations, making them vulnerable to damaging discrimination.
With the development of modern civil rights law, civil rights to intimate privacy will combat privacy violations that constitute blatant discrimination. It would limit or prohibit data practices that jeopardize opportunities for women and marginalized communities because they belong to protected groups. That’s what the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) does, which prohibits companies from using genetic information in employment decisions. GINA is inspired by the historical threat of discrimination against blacks who disproportionately develop sickle cell anemia.
But the civil right to intimate privacy should not only be the right to fight blatant discrimination: it should also be the right to provide everyone with a baseline for privacy protection. As legal philosopher Robin West explains, civil rights should be understood and protected as “human or natural rights” that enable “our most basic human capabilities.”they are rights to Something – the right that gives us the right to “thrive and be society”, to feel like we belong and participate as citizens. Civil rights deserve recognition and protection because they “provide the prerequisites for a good life.” In the United States, civil rights protections have been implemented by interpreting constitutional rights, passing state and federal laws, and enforcing existing laws that emphasize those rights.
Understanding civil rights as human rights with fundamental rights has a long history. In 1792, political theorists Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft advocated the civil rights of public education as it promotes human development and participation in civil society. Legal historians George Rutherglen and Edward White explore how the federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 protected common law rights—the ability to buy property and enter into contracts—as they were the foundation of participation in civil society and needed protection from discrimination. Risa Goluboff, legal historian and dean of the University of Virginia School of Law, highlights how, in the 1940s, attorneys in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Section focused on removing barriers to careers of choice because employment is an inalienable natural right.
The concept of civil rights as a guarantee of human rights gradually faded in the United States in the mid-20th century. As historian and African American studies scholar Carol Anderson explains, Presidents Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt rejected civil rights activists’ calls for recognition of human rights because the term was associated with communism. In turn, the NAACP dropped calls to protect inalienable rights like education and employment, focusing instead on ensuring protection from discrimination in important situations. As the NAACP has argued in its early history, civil rights are both about ensuring our basic rights (including privacy) and combating the discriminatory denial of those rights.
Of course, not every interest involves civil rights. A lot of people like to buy booze on Sundays, but they don’t have the civil right to buy booze for a Super Bowl party. (Don’t get me wrong, I love whiskey, but if I could only buy it six days a week, I would still live a full life.) We love being in the park, but we don’t have the civil rights to enter the park at night. Civil rights are considered fundamental rights because they enable us to thrive as full individuals and active members of society.
Although intimate privacy has not been recognized as a civil right (understood as a fundamental right and an anti-discrimination mandate), it should be. Doing so will illuminate the moral implications of intimate privacy. It will give us the vocabulary to understand its central role in developing authentic and dignified identities. This suggests that intimate privacy is a prerequisite for love, friendship, and civic engagement.It will convey the need for personal privacy and community development. It will convey to companies that privacy deserves strong protection rather than empty gestures, to individuals that privacy violations are not a harmless antics, to governments that devalue data collection and corrupt democracy, and to each of us that our privacy matters. important.