Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, jurisprudence, child pornography, privacy, children, abuse, hate propaganda, obscenity, equality, digital data collection, aggregation, social profiling


Canadian jurisprudence has explicitly recognized the impact of child pornography on the privacy rights of the children abused in its production. In contrast, it has generally not analyzed other forms of harmful expression, such as hate propaganda and obscenity,to be violations of the privacy rights of those targeted. In a previous article, the author suggested that this distinction in the jurisprudence reflected the relative ease with which the privacy interests of the individual children whose abuse is documented inchild pornography meshed with the prevalent Western approach toprivacy as a negative individual liberty against intrusion. Noting the historic role that the individualisticconception of privacy has played in perpetuating inequality, the author suggests that reliance on the prevailing paradigm is unlikely to prove useful in advancing the lived substantive equality of those targeted by hate, child pornography and obscenity However, before the advancement of privacy claims by targeted members of equalityseeking communities is abandoned, the potential for revising the paradigmatic Western account ofprivacyshould be explored. The authorinvokes the alternative accounts ofprivacy developed by Oscar Gandy,Priscilla Regan, and Julie Cohen, Who analyze the implications of widespread digital data collection, aggregation, and social profiling. Their work may provide ways of fashioning an account of privacy intrinsically tied to producing substantive equality for groups targeted by and in hate propaganda, obscenity and child pornography, one which may also assist equality-seeking groups more generally.

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