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PROBLEM AREA II RIGHT OF PRIVACY The Right to Be Left Alone An Examination of the Right of Privacy Prepared for Submission to the 1999 National Debate Topic Selection Committee by Cindi Timmons Colleyville Heritage HS Colleyville Texas and Aaron Timmons Greenhill School Dallas Texas The Right to Be Left Alone An Examination of the Right of Privacy The right of the people to be secure in their persons houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution The right to be left alone the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by a free people Justice Louis Brandeis Olmstead v US 1928 BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION Although the word privacy does not exist in our constitution the Fourth Amendment serves as the basis for the discussion of a right to privacy in our country a right which has been controversial since its inception However there has never been such an assault on privacy as exists now the increasing reliance on science and technology and the growing role of government as protector has made it possible to circumvent traditional protections on privacy and subject the individual to increasing scrutiny by government employers and the public at large Incursions on privacy have a long history largely in response to technological advances 1861 Western Union begins operating the first transcontinental telegraph line 1861 wiretapping begins during the Civil War 1876 the telephone is invented 1890 Louis D Brandeis articulates the legal expression of a right to privacy in a Harvard Law Review article 1899 the credit reporting agency Equifax Inc is founded under the name Retail Credit Company 1902 the Medical Information Bureau Inc is established to act
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