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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 39, Issue 4, October 2013

Mark Tunick
Pages 643-668

Privacy and Punishment

Philosophers have focused on why privacy is of value to innocent people with nothing to hide. I argue that for people who do have something to hide, such as a past crime or bad behavior in a public place, informational privacy can be important for avoiding undeserved or disproportionate nonlegal punishment. Against the objection that one cannot expect privacy in public facts, I argue that I might have a legitimate privacy interest in public facts that are not readily accessible, or in details of a public fact that implicate my dignity, or in not having a public fact memorialized and spread to more people than I willingly exposed myself to.

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