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Americans have had a variety of ways of thinking about privacy over the centuries. Though the word “privacy” is not used in the Constitution, the idea that citizens are “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” is enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Before he was a Supreme Court justice, Louis Brandeis proclaimed in a 1890 Harvard Law Review article that Americans enjoyed a “right to privacy,” which he argued was the “right to be let alone.” In a landmark birth control case in 1965, the Supreme Court embraced the Brandeis view, ruling that the right to privacy can be inferred from the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendments. More modern concepts have focused on Americans’ views that they ought to be able to control their identity and their personal information.

This new survey asked Americans for their own definitions of the words “privacy” and “digital privacy.” Their written answers…

Read the rest at the ‘Source of the original article’: Pew Research Center (
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