Privacy Law and the Griswold Decision

Privacy law concerns the storing, handling, and use of personal information. It aims to protect people from unwarranted intrusion or exploitation of their name or likeness.

Examples of privacy laws include the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the Fair Credit 스토킹전문변호사 Reporting Act. Also, in 2018, California passed the Consumer Data Protection Act (CCPA) that is regarded as one of the strictest privacy laws.

Griswold v. Universal Studios

The Griswold decision was the first time that the Supreme Court recognized the right to privacy as an inalienable constitutional protection. Previously, the Court had limited the right to privacy to those cases in which a person’s right to privacy was violated by a government act. This decision expanded the scope of the right to privacy and gave rise to many new applications.

In this case, Universal Studios sued two of the six major wholesale distributors of home video and DVDs in the United States. Defendants, Ingram and VPD, distribute Universal videos and DVDs to retail outlets in the “sell-through” and rental home video and DVD market. Plaintiffs assert that the defendants’ agreements with Universal force them to promote Universal products more aggressively than the other studios’, thereby causing anticompetitive effects.

Defendants counter that plaintiffs have failed to allege that the defendants’ agreements with Universal have caused any anticompetitive effect on the overall market. They also argue that the defendants are not monopolists, as Universal’s agreements do not require them to sell Universal’s DVDs only at exclusive prices or to refuse orders from any retail outlets, which would create a monopoly power.

Further, the District Court’s injunction was overbroad because it stifled speech without evidence of any harm. Several media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and Wired, had linked to DeCSS and other circumvention tools as part of their coverage of the controversy surrounding the Studios’ DVD encryption system.

The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of plaintiffs. Justice Souter wrote the opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer. In his dissent, Justice Thomas argued that the Court’s decision was flawed because it did not consider the possible impact on free speech. He also argued that the right to privacy was not limited solely to private actions but could extend to public activities as well.

National Archives & Records Administration v. Favish

In the modern era, when information is so easily accessible and widely disseminated, privacy has become a major issue. People’s rights to privacy are protected by various federal and state laws, including the FOIA, which gives individuals a right to request access to records maintained by the government and to have their personal information corrected or deleted if it is found to be inaccurate or incomplete. Individuals also reserve the right to sue for damages if their privacy is violated.

Privacy concerns arise not only in the context of public documents, but also private records held by businesses and institutions, such as banks and credit card companies. In addition, governments can pose a threat to privacy. This is why the US has a strict data protection law called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It requires companies to notify consumers what personal information they have collected on them and to give them the opportunity to opt-out of their marketing activities.

A key privacy principle outlined by the Supreme Court in Favish is that, when seeking to override an exemption, courts must look at both what an agency will do with the requested documents and the alleged public interest that would be advanced by disclosure. This is known as the “required nexus” requirement and is essential to the FOIA’s prodisclosure purpose.

The Supreme Court in Favish also reiterated the long-standing rule of FOIA administration that a deceased person no longer possesses privacy rights that could be transferred to family members. This is known as the “survivor privacy” doctrine, and it has been a central part of FOIA practice for over twenty-five years. The Court in Favish made clear that this is a vital privacy concept and one that neither the public nor agencies should forget.

Griswold v. United States

This case was one of the first to posit that there is a general right to privacy within the Constitution, even though it is not explicitly written in the Bill of Rights. The case arose out of a law in Connecticut that banned the use of birth control for married couples and punished anyone who helped them. Griswold and Buxton, a gynecologist from the Yale School of Medicine, opened a clinic in New Haven to counsel and prescribe contraceptives for married couples, a clear violation of the state law. The Supreme Court ruled that this law violated their right to marital privacy, a principle that would play a significant role in later cases regarding other uses of birth control and abortion and LGBTQ rights.

The majority of the Supreme Court ruled that while the Constitution does not protect an individual’s general right to privacy, there are emanations from various provisions in the Bill of Rights that create zones of privacy into which the government cannot intrude. Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority, explaining that a right to privacy can be garnered from protections in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments, among others. The Court argued that a right to marital privacy is implicit in these rights and that the State can’t infringe upon it without violating substantive due process, which it failed to do in this case.

Hugo Black and Potter Stewart filed dissenting opinions, disagreeing with the majority’s assertion that there was a general right to privacy in the Constitution. They also rejected the idea that a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause can be used to strike down a law. However, their dissents did not prevent the Court from establishing that there is such a right to privacy, a principle that has guided subsequent decisions regarding privacy and reproductive freedom.