n.the quality or state of being free from public scrutinyBehrnd-Klodt 2008, 106Privacy means the exclusiveness of space around an individual, “the right of an individual to be let alone,” freedom to make decisions without government interference, or the expectation that certain personal information will not be disclosed to outsiders.the quality or state of having one’s personal information or activities protected from unauthorized disclosure by anotherCook 1991a, 62Archives must learn to live in this new environment by demonstrating to their sponsoring governments that they will follow the acts and not release personal information records in ways that will harm an individuals’ rights to privacy. Archivists should also try to convince their sponsors and legislators that the sensitivity of personal information will eventually expire, and in such circumstances the personal information records can then be made available for public consultation. Therefore, such records should not now be destroyed merely to protect personal privacy.Hodson 2004, 196Conventional wisdom suggests that the right of privacy ends at death, since the dead obviously can no longer be embarrassed by the revelation of personal information. A corollary to this standard tenet acknowledges that modern archives that include the papers of living people do hold the potential for embarrassing those individuals. Even when the creator of a manuscript collection is no longer living, some or even all of his or her correspondents might still be alive and therefore still possess a right of privacy. In fact, the privacy of so-called third parties who may be represented in a collection can be the most worrisome and difficult to address. These third parties had no voice in deciding the fate of the papers, and are unlikely to have been consulted about any potential sensitivity in the collection.Yaco 2010, 640Two categories of laws relate to archival collections: those that protect individuals’ privacy by restricting access to records, and those that protect the public’s right to know by expanding access.
Under tort law, invasion of privacy includes theft of one’s identity, intentionally disturbing one’s solitude, disclosing nonpublic information about another, and placing another in a false public light. In some states, publicity rights are covered under privacy laws.