Privacy Case Law

United Kingdom

United States

  • Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967).  Landmark United States Supreme Court case discussing the nature of the “right to privacy” and the legal definition of a “search” of intangible property, such as electronic-based communications like telephone calls.
  • Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972).  The Supreme Court established the right of unmarried people to possess contraception on the same basis as married couples.
  • Roe v Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).  The Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the government’s interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of human life.
  • Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., 562 U.S. 397 (2011).  Supreme Court which held that the exemption from Freedom of Information Act disclosure requirements for law enforcement records which “could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” does not protect information related to corporate privacy.
  • United States v. Microsoft Corp.  Data privacy case involving the extraterritoriality of law enforcement seeking electronic data under the 1986 Stored Communications Act, Title II of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA), in light of modern computing and Internet technologies such as data centers and cloud storage.
  • Riley v. California, 573 U.S. __ (2014).  Landmark Supreme Court case in which the Court unanimously held that the warrantless search and seizure of digital contents of a cell phone during an arrest is unconstitutional.