Right to Privacy in a Digital Age

In Ireland ones right to privacy is constitutionally protected under article 40.3, with the caveat that the state upholds this right as much as practicable due to the fact that under Irish law no one right is absolute. The infamous McGee case acknowledge a right to marital privacy as an unenumerated constitutional right, therefore by extension recognising that the right to privacy is an inherently personal right intertwined with the human personality. At common law there is no specific protection for privacy however many torts indirectly protect an individual’s privacy, such as, defamation, trespass, and nuisance. 

In EU law under the charter of fundamental rights provides that an individual has the right to privacy for their private and family life, this provision is also included in the European Convention on Human Rights which was integrated into domestic law in 2003. The scope of these privacy rights extends to personal identity and reputation while encompassing ties to family and community, however this right is always balanced against policy considerations.

Data protection is an effective form of protection of personal privacy, it is a fundamental right in itself under article 8 of the EU charter of Fundamental Rights, this ensures any information stored must be stored fairly and legally, and that personal information is made available. In this digital age under GDPR regulations an organisation must have a legal reason to acquire one’s personal data information, the top reason is consent. This is why we all accept so many cookies while accessing different websites! Some exemptions to these common protections of your rights are usually exercised by regulatory bodies and provided for under section 57 of the GDPR act, an example of restrictions include the preventions or detection of breaches of discipline by persons in a specific profession.

While governments across the globe have attempted to provide comprehensive protection against data retention for citizens, however many still believe there is scope for more to be done to alter the idea that privacy in this digital age is dead. Albeit upon examination of the Irish law above it is clear to us here at LD that while we are protected by our state more transparency is needed to ensure individuals understand these rights.

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Right to Privacy in a Digital Age

In Ireland ones right to privacy is constitutionally protected under article 40.3, with the caveat that the state upholds this right as much as practicable