The rise of social networking has connected us in ways unthinkable a few years ago, but has also raised alarming questions regarding the right to be left alone. More and more, Americans are discovering that information traditionally considered private is moving into the public domain, sometimes with startling implications for their personal lives. Part I of this Article reviews the problem of Internet intrusion into personal privacy. The Internet is especially remarkable for its three central features: reach, speed and permanence. These features make the Internet unlike any other media in existence, and makes protecting privacy extremely difficult. Part II reviews existing remedies to protect privacy, both legislative and common law, and highlights the shortcomings in such remedies. Finally, Part III of the Article argues that the time has come for a re-thinking of the parameters of online privacy, and calls for the adoption of a new individual right, “Zero Net Presence.” In the right circumstances, any citizen who wishes it should have the right to demand that private companies scrub any information on that citizen from the Internet itself. If the right to privacy is to remain meaningful in the hurricane of technological advance, an immovable shelter must be built now, and it must be constructed in law.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/terence_lau/12/