Privacy refers to the ability of individuals or groups to control the collection, use, and disclosure of their personal information. Privacy allows individuals to maintain autonomy and dignity by protecting their personal and sensitive information from being accessed or used without their consent.
The United States National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) defines privacy as: assurance that the confidentiality of, and access to, certain information about an entity is protected; freedom from intrusion into the private life or affairs of an individual when that intrusion results from undue or illegal gathering and use of data about that individual; and, the right of a party to maintain control over and confidentiality of information about itself.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an international document (adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948) that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings - including the right to privacy.
The concept of privacy has become increasingly important in the digital age, as individuals generate and share vast amounts of personal information online. This has led to concerns about the protection of personal information and the potential for data breaches, identity theft, and other privacy violations. Privacy is protected by various laws and regulations globally, including data protection laws, privacy laws, and human rights legislation.