Privacy Rights Divided

  • by Arlo Gilbert
  • · posted on July 1, 2022
  • · 2 min read
Privacy Rights Divided

This past week we saw a monumental shift in the legal landscape in the US. It’s nearly impossible to address here all of the ways in which the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will impact the implied right to privacy for Americans. I’d like to set aside the issue of abortion and just focus on privacy. 

The opinion in Roe v. Wade provided federal protection to a decision by ruling that abortion was within a person’s right to privacy. The Dobbs decision removes that federal protection and leaves it to the states, which is just where personal data privacy protection currently resides. The immediate patchwork effect divides the nation and leaves some, perhaps most, with fewer privacy rights than others.  

As constitutional lawyers labor over every word of the Dobbs majority decision, Justice Thomas’s concurrence, and the dissenting opinion, we are left only to guess: How will privacy rights be protected in the US? 

If the prevailing sentiment in your state is more religious than your own beliefs, will state laws be passed by elected representatives that intrude on your private decisions? Will those state laws allow your fellow citizens to sue you over those private actions? Will your personal data collected online help them in that kind of a lawsuit?    

These are critical questions, and it certainly feels like we are at a crossroad.

-Arlo


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About The Author · Arlo Gilbert

Arlo Gilbert is the CEO & co-founder of Osano. An Austin, Texas native, he has been building software companies for more than 20 years in categories including telecom, payments, procurement, and compliance. In 2005 Arlo invented voice commerce, he has testified before congress on technology issues, and is a frequent speaker on data privacy rights.