Court of Appeals in Chicago

Here's Looking At You
October 16, 2000

As its new term began this week, the Supreme Court heard two cases involving the boundaries of privacy in an increasingly transparent society; later in the term, it will hear at least one more. The constitutional question in all three cases is whether the government needs to have individualized suspicion before it can conduct searches using relatively unintrusive, extremely effective technologies-- thermal-imaging devices that can detect heat emitting through house walls, for example, or random checkpoints with drug-sniffing dogs.

Indecent Exposure
November 08, 1999

The politics of privacy in America are reactive and sentimental, fired by heart-tugging anecdotes that capture the public imagination. The murder of TV actress Rebecca Schaeffer by an obsessive fan who obtained her address through the department of motor vehicles led Congress to pass the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, which forbids state licensing authorities from releasing the personal information of individuals without their consent.