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What Does the Bible Say About..Privacy?

What does the bible say about invasion of privacy? Example hacking of a computer.


The one instance of “invasion of privacy” in the Bible that immediately comes to my mind is found in Judges 3. A left handed man named Ehud used his sinister nature to kill king Eglon of Moab. As he left the king’s summer chamber he locked the door behind him. When the king did not call his servants right away they thought he was answering a call of nature, relieving himself. When he still did not call them they got worried and got a key and opened the door, invading his privacy and finding him dead.

The Bible has little to say about invasion of privacy since that is a relatively modern fiction. Until modern times nobody expected privacy, so there could not be an invasion of something that did not really exist. Governments, especially, routinely spied on their own people, and the people knew it. Neighborhoods were hotbeds of gossip. Everybody knew, or thought they knew, everything about everybody, so nobody had any privacy. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, was possibly the first government document to state that individuals had some right to privacy, although even that document did not make that right as broad as it now is.

Since “invasion of privacy” is a modern legal fiction, about the only thing the Bible says about it is that we are to obey the laws of the land. (Romans 13:1-10; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17) Computer hacking, for instance, is against the law in most places. The Bible forbids it, not because it is invasion of privacy but because it is against the law.