Earlier this year, I blogged about Justice Scalia’s remarks about privacy at the Institute of American and Talmudic Law. According to media accounts:
“Every single datum about my life is private? That’s silly,” Scalia [said]. . . .
Scalia said he was largely untroubled by such Internet tracking. “I don’t find that particularly offensive,” he said. “I don’t find it a secret what I buy, unless it’s shameful.”
He added there’s some information that’s private, “but it doesn’t include what groceries I buy.” . . . .
Considering every fact about someone’s life private is “extraordinary,” he said, noting that data such as addresses have long been discernible, even if technology has made them easier to find.
At a recent conference at Fordham University sponsored in part by the Center on Law and Information Policy, Professor Joel Reidenberg discussed an assignment he gave to his class this past semester — find any public information about Justice Scalia and compile it into a dossier. As Kashmir Hill reports at Above the Law:
“Justice Scalia said he doesn’t care what people find out about him on the Internet,” said Reidenberg during his presentation on the transparency of personal information. “So I challenged my class to compile a dossier on him.”
Now four months later, at the end of the semester, the dossier (available online somewhere, but password protected) is 15 pages long. Among its contents are Nino’s home address, his home phone number, the movies he likes, his food preferences, his wife’s personal e-mail address, and “photos of his lovely grandchildren.”
“When the discrete bits of personal information were assembled at the end of the semester, the extent of the overall dossier and some of the particular items of readily available information on the web concerning his family and family life were astonishing to the class,” Reidenberg wrote to us.
Before the news of the dossier was reported by Above the Law, Reidenberg had sent a letter informing Justice Scalia about the dossier and offering to allow him to see it if he desired. The dossier was not made public.
Justice Scalia recently responded to the Above the Law post about Joel Reidenberg’s experiment: