Privacy (from Latin privatus ‘separated from the rest, deprived of something, esp. office, participation in the government’, from privo ‘to deprive’) is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share basic common themes. Privacy is sometimes related to anonymity, the wish to remain unnoticed or unidentified in the public realm. When something is private to aperson, it usually means there is something within them that is considered inherently special or personally sensitive. The degree to which private information is exposed therefore depends on how the public will receive this information, which differs between places and over time. Privacy is broader than security and includes the concepts of appropriate use and protection of information.

“Privacy is an interest of the human personality. It protects the inviolate personality, the individual’s independence, dignity and integrity.”  “It is the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of the rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”  Privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech.  In other words, it is the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs.

The media has made it possible to bring the private life of an individual into public domain exposing him to the risk of an invasion of his space and privacy.  With the process of globalization, and the development of the internet  , the convergence of information beyond technological barriers has become a common affair.

There arc sonic area concerning the protecting and preserving of privacy rights of individual. In the following area right to privacy is protecting in the following ways:

Privacy Law 

Privacy protection rules regulating law enforcement and national security use of personal information can be usefully understood in two distinct categories: first, substantive roles that limit access to and usage of private information and, second, procedural rules that provide safeguards to encourage compliance and ensure accountability for compliance failures. Neither the Constitution nor any statute can anticipate in advance every particular privacy issue raised by future technologies. So the evolving .balance between the government’s need to intrude on the private lives of individuals in the service of its public safety mission and the requirement to maintain individual liberty has been maintained over time by providing a degree of transparency in the use of new technologies, along with accountability to rules assured by judicial and legislative oversight. As new technologies and investigative techniques come into use, courts and legislatures have the opportunity to review these advances and make assessments of their privacy impact, guided by constitutional and public policy foundations. When new privacy risks arise or when the government powers are judged to have been extended beyond the boundaries established through the democratic process, corrective action can be taken. In order for this dynamic equilibrium of privacy and public safety to be maintained, however, transparency of the investigative process and accountability to the role of law are essential. This appendix presents both the substantive constitutional foundations of privacy rights necessary for evaluating new technology, along with a consideration of transparency, accountability, and oversight mechanisms necessary to keep counterterrorism activities within view of the democratic process Privacy law is the area of law concerning the protecting and preserving of privacy rights of individuals. While there is no universally accepted privacy law among all countries, some organizations promote certain concepts be enforced by individual countries. For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 12, states:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

For Europe, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to respect for private and family life, one’s home and correspondence. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has developed a large body of jurisprudence defining this fundamental right to privacy. The European Union requires all member states to legislate to ensure that citizens have a right to privacy, through directives such as the 1995 Directive.

In the United Kingdom, it is not possible to bring an action for invasion of privacy. An action may be brought under another tort (“usually breach of confidence) and privacy must then be considered under EC law. In the UK, it is sometimes a defense that disclosure of private information was in the public interest.

Concerning privacy laws of the United States, privacy is not guaranteed per se by the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court of the United States has found that other guarantees have “penumbras” that implicitly grant a right to privacy against government intrusion, for example in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). In the United States, the right of freedom of speech granted in the First Amendment has limited the effects of lawsuits for breach of privacy. Privacy is regulated in the U.S. by the Privacy Act of 1974, and various state laws.

Canadian privacy law is governed federally by multiple acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Privacy Act (Canada). Mostly this legislation concerns privacy infringement by government organizations. Data privacy was first addressed with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and provincial-level legislation also exists to account for more specific cases personal privacy protection against commercial organizations. 

Privacy on the Internet

There are many means to protect one’s privacy on the internet. For example e-mails can be encrypted and anonym zing proxies or anonym zing networks like I2P and Tore can be used to prevent the internet service providers from knowing which sites one visits and with whom one communicates. Internet privacy includes the main elements; personal data private information, and individual field. The contents of internet privacy are as follows;

  1. Tie right to know

Users have a right to know what information relevant to themselves is collected by the websites, what purpose the information will be used, as well as who it will be shared.

  1. The right to choose

Consumers have a right to choose the use of their personal data.

Adequate  security

The network   company   should   guarantee   the   security   of information and prevent unauthorized illegal access .The   users   have  the  right  to  request  the  website  to  take   the  necessary   and  reasonable  measures to   protect   their   personal   information.

  1. In addition,   internet   privacy   should   also   includes   the refuses  right  to  control  the  information (the  user has  the  right to  decide  whether to  allow others to collect or use his  information) and the right to request judicial  relief (the user has the right to   bring   a   civil   suit   against  any   institution  or  individual   engaged   in  infringement  on  his  privacy).

Data Protection

Information privacy or data privacy is the relationship between collection and dissemination of data, technology, the public expectation of privacy, and the legal and political issues surrounding them. The Data Protection Act, 1998 can be a very powerful tool to help protect your right to privacy by creating a set of rules for those who handle your personal data, and giving you a number of rights over that personal data and the way it is handled. This section will provide and overview of those rules, and of what your rights are under the DPA and how you can enforce them. The DPA also provides you with a right to access personal data which is held about you, but this is covered in the Right to know section. The processing of your personal data, as well as engaging your rights under the DPA, often also engages your right to respect for your private and family life, which is protected by Article 8. This is covered in the Article 8 section. Disclosure of your personal data to third panics may also be a breach of confidence, and this is covered in the Breach of Confidence section. This section covers: Overview of data protection principles, Definition of Personal data, Legitimate Processing, Individual Rights, Remedies, Exemptions, Data Protection. In the EU’s Data Protection Directive and Privacy Directive, privacy in the processing of personal data and the confidentiality of communications are recognized as fundamental rights that should be protected. The Privacy Directive requires member states to harmonize and ensure an equivalent level of protection of the right to privacy with respect to personal data in the electronic communication sector. Pursuant, to this, the Data Protection Directive prohibits the transfer of personal information to any country that does not have adequate privacy laws.