Islamic Government Duty in Keeping People’s Privacy

One of the significant duties of Islamic government is establishing public order and creating of social and personal security in a way that all individuals of an Islamic society live away from fear and anxiety with enough sense of security.

Supporting of people’s privacy (including privacies of house, family, working place, possessions, communications and assistance in others’ willful interference and violation) is of the government responsibilities. On this basis, the Islamic government must plan necessary protective strategies for safeguarding people’s privacy.

Violation of people’s privacy sometimes is due to others’ interference and sometimes is the result of transgression and violation of government policies leading to the violation of citizen’s privacy.

Additionally, the development of different technologies and sciences in the fields of communication and information leads to the facilitation of violation and transgression of society people’s privacy and exposing of people’s personal privacy to others’ illegal access.

Certainly, mental and physical sense of insecurity, anxiety and panic, pessimism and suspicion caused by the threat of people’s personal and social lives are the most important impediments of human life ascendency and dynamic perfectionism. Islamic government is responsible to support effectively of people’s privacy by means of preparing some legal and necessary strategies. Safeguarding the privacy of people against willful government officials who may transgress or violate people’s rights by abusing of their powers and positions.

Determining a clear and precise limitation for government legal interference in people’s privacy, the government prevents any kind of deprival of society people’s natural rights and supplies Islamic state residents’ needs of physical, spiritual and psychological security.

Imam Ali (a.s) in a treaty communicated to Maalek Ashtar, as governing charter at the time of his departure to Egypt, emphasized on the governor precise carefulness for determining the government agents from the view points of loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. He also considered appointing some inspectors who control the actions of these agents in a hidden way necessary so that they will not transgress their determined authorities and limitations and by observing trustworthiness and moral principles avoid from any kind of violation of others’ right and people’s privacy1.

The declaration of Islamic human rights refers to the duty of Islamic government in support people’s private rights in this way that: "All human beings have the right of independence in their own lives special affairs about housing, family, communication and possessions. Any kind of inspection, surveillance and disgracing or defaming of people is not permitted. It is obliged to the society and government to support any human being against unjustifiable inference in his life while following percepts of Islam.2

It is obvious that to support Islamic government, as well as encouraging and preventive means (such as: 'Promotion what is good and prevention of evil.'), it will confront the violation and transgression of people’s privacy by appealing to exert power through approving of penal codes.

It should not be forgotten that the measures of Islamic government toward the safeguarding of people’s privacy, besides observing of people’s personal rights, creates security in the society and public affairs and stabilizes society psychological and mental safety.

  • 1. Nahj al- Balaghah, letters, letter 31.
  • 2. Paragraph .C, Article. 9.