Privacy rights have always been clear. You can't secretly record another person who has an expectation of privacy. The digital revolution is changing that game. Some for the good, and some for the bad.
Let's take the good first :
When coaches, teachers or nurses are found to be abusing the elderly, special needs or our children, by way of illegal private recordings, we embrace these recordings and get immediate resolution to terminate the bad seeds of society, Who wouldn't have wanted a recording of Jerry Sandusky to save those young boys decades earlier? And how many priests would have stopped their bad conduct if they thought they could be recorded?
When 60 mins aired the series of secret video made of corrupt lawyers, this blog and countless others went viral . The lawyer mocking the system and corruption claiming to " run " run the system was vilified. Focus became on the bad lawyer, not the secret recordings.
When Wiki Leaks exposed government corruption, a global manhunt ensued.
Change is often brought by civil disobedience and skirting the rights of crooks to expose them. It took a brave whistleblower and two persistent journalists to expose our President making illegal recordings.
Now the bad:
To consider that the end does not always justify the means, one need only look at the new issue referred to as Revenge Porn. The makers of these videos don't intend to address a matter of pubic interest , or to do good. They intend to harm and embarrass one person , who had a reasonable and constitutional expectation of privacy.
As the debate over Apple ignoring privacy rights of their clients, by giving in to the government to catch terrorists rages on, we must remember it is a slippery slope when we question what was written on an old piece of parchment paper hundreds of years ago.