Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)
© 2022 Tara Mehra
The U.S. law has a weak conception of the right to privacy– one that fails to adequately protect consumers in the technological age. This project draws primarily upon Locke, Kant, and Ripstein to articulate and apply a reorientation of the right to privacy and defend that reorientation as constitutionally sound. Specifically, Locke’s property theory and Kant’s innate right suggest that the right to privacy is derived from an exclusive right to control one’s person, which is one’s most fundamental property. In applying this understanding of privacy, there is a case for a robust protection of consumer data. Further, Ripstein’s analysis of public provisions highlights that the state has a positive duty to secure the conditions for the effective exercise of the right to privacy. Doing so entails state regulation of what I argue are illegitimate business-to-consumer consent agreements. In short, this reorientation provides grounds for a protection and maintenance of a morally robust right to privacy in the technological age that can pass constitutional muster.
Mehra, Tara, "Behind Locke and Key: A Philosophical Reorientation of Privacy as Property in Oneself and its Applications to Personal Consumer Data" (2023). CMC Senior Theses. 3160.