The right to respect for private life: digital challenges, a comparative-law perspective - The United States

04-10-2018

This study forms part of a wider-ranging project which seeks to lay the groundwork for comparisons between legal frameworks governing the right to respect for private life in different legal systems, and between the ways in which the systems address the challenges that the ‘digital age’ poses to the exercise of that right. It analyses, with reference to the United States and the subject at hand, the legislation in force, the most relevant case law and the nature of the right to respect for private life, ending with some conclusions on the challenges discussed. Unlike jurisdictions that have adopted an omnibus approach to privacy protection, the US takes a sectoral approach to regulating privacy, with different regulatory regimes for different contexts and sectors of the economy. This report provides an overview of the different areas of law addressing privacy, including constitutional, statutory, and common law, as well as of relevant scholarly commentary. The report concludes with a summary of the current legislative outlook.

This study forms part of a wider-ranging project which seeks to lay the groundwork for comparisons between legal frameworks governing the right to respect for private life in different legal systems, and between the ways in which the systems address the challenges that the ‘digital age’ poses to the exercise of that right. It analyses, with reference to the United States and the subject at hand, the legislation in force, the most relevant case law and the nature of the right to respect for private life, ending with some conclusions on the challenges discussed. Unlike jurisdictions that have adopted an omnibus approach to privacy protection, the US takes a sectoral approach to regulating privacy, with different regulatory regimes for different contexts and sectors of the economy. This report provides an overview of the different areas of law addressing privacy, including constitutional, statutory, and common law, as well as of relevant scholarly commentary. The report concludes with a summary of the current legislative outlook.

External author

This study has been written by Mr Luis Acosta, Chief, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division II, Law Library of Congress, of the US Library of Congress, at the request of the Comparative Law Library Unit, Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS), General Secretariat of the European Parliament.