There is No Such Thing as a ‘Right to Privacy’
The unfortunate leaking of the British National Party membership lists has caused a flurry on many political forums. Sadly, many consider this to be a breach of ‘the right to privacy’. This mythical right does not exist in reality, only tangible property rights do.
The members of the BNP gave their names to the Party under the conditions that they would not be publicly revealed. This is a contract, and a contract represents a transfer of property rights.
More simply, if I found your diary lying in a hallway and took the time to peruse it carefully, I would not be violating any rights at all. In contrast, if I obtained your diary by braking into your home and rummaging though your drawers, this would be a violation of your rights.
As Murray Rothbard often pointed out: All Rights are Property Rights.
When someone says “I have a right to free healthcare”, what they are really saying is “I have a property right to have a slave give me medical advice” or alternatively “I have a claim to someone else’s property to pay for my medical care”.
When I say “I have a right to privacy” I really mean is “I am asserting my property right which allows me to decide who sees my personal information”.
Try converting other statements like these into property rights statements yourself and you’ll find Rothbard was right all along.