There is no single historical or culturally universal notion of human privacy, and what we have today is a historical development across many centuries and cultures. In classical antiquity and into the early middle ages there was a distinction between two spheres: the private realm which consisted in the domestic life of the household and was concerned mainly with producing, maintaining and renewing the practical necessities of life, and the public realm which was the place of interpersonal and social activity, discussion and debate. Since the former was primarily a matter of satisfying biological needs, which is something humans share with animals, it was held to be of lower value than the public realm which was the sphere of communication and mutual recognition - conferring social roles and standing. In the early modern period, following the increases of population in Europe, growing urbanisation and the ‘voyages of discovery’, a new distinction became important, that between different spheres of property: what was historically common land and what was acquired and contained, and between what was natural and what was transformed and managed in the interest of owners. In the 18th and 19th centuries another theme was added in consequence of the development and growth of unitary states and central governments: the distinction between internal self-direction and external control. In the 19th and 20th centuries with the development of mechanised transport and electronic communications facilitating national press and then broadcasting and cinema, there emerged the categories of the public figure and the celebrity and along with these an interest in having the secrets of their lives reported on, particularly where these were, criminal, corrupt or scandalous. In response, there developed the notion of privacy of personal information and conduct as something to be valued and protected. Ethical issues surrounding privacy concern on the one hand the right of individuals and bodies to exclusive information and protected ‘spaces’, and on the other the right of the public to know about and have some say regarding matters that bear upon their interests. In this connection it is important, however, to observe the distinction between the ‘public interest’ and the ‘interested (i.e. curious and prurient) public.