The Problems of
Information Privacy Law
A distinctive domain of law relating to information privacy has been developing throughout the twentieth century. Although the law has made great strides in dealing with privacy problems, the law of information privacy has been severely hampered by the difficulties in formulating a compelling theory of privacy. The story of privacy law is a tale of changing technology and the law's struggle to respond in effective ways.
Information privacy law consists of a mosaic of various types of law: tort law, constitutional law, federal and state statutory law, evidentiary privileges, property law, and contract law. Much of privacy law is interrelated, and as legal scholar Ken Gormley observes, “various offshoots of privacy are deeply intertwined at the roots, owing their origins to the same soil.”1
Information privacy law has made great strides toward protecting privacy. Nevertheless, there are systematic deficiencies across the spectrum of privacy law in addressing the special nature of the problem of digital dossiers.