It is widely recognized that our privacy is under threat. Electronic surveillance, biometrics, CCTV, ID cards, RFID codes, online security, encryption, the interception of email, the monitoring of employees--all raise fundamental questions about privacy. Legal expert Raymond Wacks here provides a compact introduction to this complex and controversial concept. He explores the tension between free speech and privacy which is often tested by paparazzi, with their intrusive journalism and sensational disclosures of the private lives of celebrities. He also looks at laws in many nations that regulate the collection and use of personal information, whether highly sensitive--medical and financial information--or commonplace transactions and details about us. The protection of personal data represents a classic instance of the law's struggle to keep abreast with technology, as the information revolution has spawned problems that test the ability of the law to provide adequate protection against abuse. The book concludes that, while under attack from many quarters, privacy remains an essential human right, recognized as such by many international organizations.