EP 337 Privacy: America’s Most Endangered Right in the Digital Age

While the right of privacy may not be explicit in the United States Constitution, as a tenet it is sprinkled liberally throughout and the U.S. Supreme Court has concurred time and again, particularly as it relates to married couples’ access to contraceptives in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 and subsequently in cases relating to abortion and same-sex marriage. So why is it that we feel that we have lost the right in this digital age and that any type of anonymity is nearly impossible? Maybe it’s because we are all carrying little spies in our pockets and affirming our connectedness to others in all transactions. While we may have the right to disappear, the reality of doing so becomes more complex with every device we bring into our homes. Did you hear that, Alexa? In his book, ‘None of Your Damn Business’, Lawrence Cappello, a constitutional historian, takes us through the history of this precious right and what we can do to preserve it as a societal, as well as individual, benefit. At the conclusion of the episode, we discuss the implications of health surveillance in the era of COVID-19 and whether Americans will be wito give up their privacy for a better chance of defeating the coronavirus.