This bonus episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast is an interview with Amy Gajda, author of “Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy.” Her book is an accessible history of the often obscure and sometimes “curlicued” interaction between the individual right to privacy and the public’s (or at least the press’s) right to know. Gajda, a former journalist, turns what could have been a dry exegesis on two centuries of legal precedent into a lively series of stories behind the case law. All the familiar legal titans of press and privacy — Louis Brandeis, Samuel Warren, Oliver Wendell Holmes – are there, but Gajda’s research shows that they weren’t always on the side they’re most famous for defending. You may come for deep thoughts about the law of privacy and press, but you’ll stick around for generous helpings of sex and hypocrisy (which, it turns out, is pretty much the core of privacy and, often, journalism).
This interview is just a taste of what Gajda’s book offers, but lawyers who are used to a summary of argument at the start of everything they read should listen to this episode first if they want to know up front where all the book’s stories are taking them.