Domestic Issues and Privacy

While there is no question that one's privacy at home is a value to be preserved and promoted, the privacy cannot trump the safety of all members of the household.

Canadian Charter of Rights Decisions Digest, 1999


So reads the title of the article here. This account of diary-related incidents from Russia indicates that we are not alone in attempting to deal with privacy issues. The author tells of how the personal diary of a student has been taken by fellow classmates as a joke. The student, and her parents, do not see the humour: they arrive at school seeking consequences for this invasion. Should the journalist reveal their source if the source reveals that they were involved in a crime? Should the lawyer ever breech lawyer-client confidentiality? Should the doctor reveal to the authorities that a patient has AIDS if that patient tells the doctor that they will never practice safe sex? Should the contents of an individual's diary be exposed if there is a belief that someone's security is at risk?

A Diary Private?

We know that our behaviour is monitored in a variety of ways. The RCMP and local police situate radar guns in their cars to monitor our speed. Cameras are placed in school buses to deter rowdy behaviour. Cameras are strategically located in shopping malls and even in clothing store changing rooms in an

attempt to keep an eye on consumers. In most of these situations we are aware that these practices are in place to detect misbehaviour. Have you ever felt that someone was monitoring your movements using a technique that you might not know about?

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Last Updated: 29-Mar-2004