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NASA v. Nelson: Is There a Constitutional Right to Information Privacy?

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5 Responses

  1. Jim Milles says:

    The case citation is wrong: the correct cite is 512 F.3d 1134.

  2. Daniel Solove says:

    Citation fixed. Thanks.

  3. Orin Kerr says:

    Dan writes: “I believe that the constitutional right to information privacy exists, and it ensures that whenever the government collects personal information, it has a duty to avoid unwarranted disclosures. This duty consists in avoiding the intentional disclosure of the information when there isn’t a compelling reason to do so. It also consists in providing adequate data security.”

    Dan, do the lower court cases agree with this interpretation of what the right does, or is this more of a brooding omnipresence in the Solovian sky?

  4. Daniel Solove says:

    Orin asks: “Dan, do the lower court cases agree with this interpretation of what the right does, or is this more of a brooding omnipresence in the Solovian sky?”

    Yes, they in fact do.

    See Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 5 v. City of Philadelphia, 812 F.2d 105 (3d Cir. 1987) (finding inadequate safeguards on questionnaire responses by police candidates and stating that “[s]afeguards against disclosure of private material have been held to be adequate where there exists a statutory penalty for unauthorized disclosures,; when there exist security provisions to prevent mishandling of files coupled with an express regulatory policy prohibiting disclosure. . . .”); US v. Westinghouse, 638 F.2d 570 (3d Cir. 1980) (setting forth balancing test to determine when disclosures are unwarranted).

    There are many more cases. In my casebook, I excerpt quite a few, plus list cases from many different circuits that recognize the right.

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