How to Talk About Privacy (Without Sounding Like a Conspiracy Theorist)

Friday May 18: 7:00PM 8:00PM

Buy a ticket HERE or at the door to attend. This event will take place in the Rare Book Room on the Strand's 3rd floor, accessible via the store elevator or at 826 Broadway.

Did you know that the word privacy doesn’t appear once in the text of the US Constitution? But despite that troubling omission, the Supreme Court has repeatedly insisted that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy because of the spirit behind certain constitutional amendments. It’s a slippery business. Exactly how privacy came to be recognized as a constitutional right is a complicated story that reaches back to the civil rights movement, the war on crime, the women’s movement, and the crusade against communism.

Privacy is not dead in the United States, but it does seem to be circling the drain. This Olio offers an accessible primer to the basics of our constitutional right to privacy and the key legal trials that led to its recognition.

Lawrence Cappello is the Macaulay Honors College Visiting Professor of History at CUNY Queens College and Director of Quantitative Research at the CUNY Center for Latino Studies. He is the author of None of Your Damn Business: A History of Privacy in the United States (University of Chicago Press — forthcoming).

Complimentary beer by our presenting partner Sixpoint Brewery.