"[The makers of our Constitution] conferred, as against the government, the right to be left alone-the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."
- Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice Dissenting in Olmstead v. U.S. (1928)
CC Image Courtesy of empty streets on Flickr
Throughout the entire United States Constitution, there is no mention of an individual's right to privacy. Instead, the concept of an individual's right to privacy has developed in the courts from the implicit guarantees of other amendments in the Constitution such as the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unwarranted search or seizure, the Ninth Amendment's recognition that rights exist outside of those enumerated in the Constitution, and the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause. The first Supreme Court case to recognize a right to privacy was Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), a case in which the Supreme Court struck down Connecticut's ban on contraceptives on the basis that it violated the individual's right to marital privacy.
As technology continues to progress and become more ingrained in our everyday lives, our privacy is becoming more and more precarious. Whether it be through websites collecting our personal information, search engines storing our search history, or banks collecting our financial information in databases, traces of us and our information are now more numerous and in more varied locations than ever before. The ACLU believes strongly in an individual's right to privacy and works hard to ensure that this right is upheld no matter how far technology advances.