Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters


In general, the literature on privacy stresses, quite naturally, our right to keep things private, or to make our own decisions. The individual, the citizen, is the center of gravity. There is a great deal of material on the limits of privacy, on threats to privacy, and the like. In this Article, the authors want to discuss what one might call mandatory privacy: those aspects of life that we are required to keep secret, hidden, or private, the things that we must keep private, whether we want to or not. This is a subject that has been mostly, though not entirely, ignored in the privacy literature.

The authors conclude that there is no longer an ironclad rule that the body, or at least the "private parts," have to remain that way: private. It has become a matter of choice. Forced bodily privacy has declined; now it is much more a matter for each person to decide, although there are still strong rules about behavior that seems threatening, abusive or pathological.

Publication Title

Buffalo Law Review

Document Type



Privacy, Public Nudity, Law, Lewdness, Simple Nudity, Sexually Threatening Nudity, Indecent Exposure, Public Breastfeeding, Law