Zdenek Kuhn, ‘Transformation of the Concept of Privacy and Liability for Its Invasion at the Outset of the Third Millennium’

The Internet has substantially changed the way we conceive human conduct; it has fundamentally altered our chance to have control over spreading information and the impact of human behaviour in the course of time. The paper analyzes the transforming modes of privacy invasion over centuries. It explains the transformation of invasion of privacy in the Internet era and the transformation of the concept of privacy itself. Next, it attempts to show that the protection of privacy by public law against giant providers of telecommunications and data services and corporations such as Google and Facebook is relevant. Efficient regulation should be exercised by the law of the European Union because autonomous domestic regulations would endanger free movement of services across the EU; moreover, separate national regulation in fighting global giants like Google could hardly be successful. On the other hand, not much sense can be seen in public-law or even European regulation of activities that are local by nature, such as monitoring cameras in private buildings which are to serve the protection of property of the camera system operators. The author explains that regulation under public law becomes toothless in such cases, sanctioning becomes selective and essentially random. In addition, such regulation has a potential to further alienate the law from its ordinary recipients.

Kuhn, Zdenek, Transformation of the Concept of Privacy and Liability for Its Invasion at the Outset of the Third Millennium (October 19, 2016). Charles University in Prague Faculty of Law Research Paper No 2016/II/4.

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