I consider the foundational issue of whether we have a right to information that is fundamental in being independent of other rights and general in protecting all information. To this end, I distinguish two kinds of morally relevant value an entity might have, i.e. intrinsic and instrumental value, and explain the role that each has in determining whether a person has a fundamental moral interest in that entity. Next, I argue that, by itself, the claim that some entity E has an informative nature does not justify believing that E has either intrinsic value or instrumental value. Accordingly, I conclude that whatever protection morality provides to our interests in information, such protection does not rise to the level of a right that is either general in the sense that it applies to all information or fundamental in the sense that it is not derived from other more basic rights.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 30, 2004