The right against unsanctioned invasion of privacy by the government, corporations or individuals is part of many countries' privacy laws, and in some cases, constitutions.
The right to privacy plays a unique role in American law and society. Privacy, although not explicitly protected by the Constitution, is considered a core value by most Americans.
The U.S. Constitutional Framework: The Fourth Amendment (1791)
The Fourth Amendment provides “The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasoneble searches and seizures…..”
1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) The primary purpose of ECPA is to provide protection against unauthorized surveillance of electronic communications.
1993 Privacy for Consumers and Workers Act While not banning electronic monitoring, does protect employees The employee must be given notice, when they are being monitored or recorded electronically by their employer while performing their job.
1996: The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule regulates the use and disclosure of certain information such as medical records
Computers and digital communication technologies present a serious challenge to legislators, judges and legal system requiring them to react to these new developments while constantly balancing the individual's civil liberties and the needs of society
2001 USA PATRIOT ACT Increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records