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The concept of privacy has long been confused and incoherent. The right to privacy has been applied promiscuously to an alarmingly wide-ranging assortment of issues including free speech, political consent, abortion, contraception, sexual preference, noise, discrimination, and pornography. The conventional definition of privacy, and attempts to evolve a 'privacy-as-a-fence' approach, are unable to deal effectively with the technological advances that have significantly altered the way information is collected, stored, and communicated. Social media such as Facebook pose searching questions about the use and protection of personal information and reveal the limits of conceiving the right to privacy as synonymous with data protection.
The recent European Union's GDPR seeks to enforce greater protection of personal information, but the overlap with privacy has further obscured its core meaning. This book traces these troubling developments, and seeks to reveal the essential nature of privacy and, critically, what privacy is not.