Daniel J. Solove of George Washington University, one of the premier American scholars on privacy, has written the first chapter of Proskauer on Privacy and has made it available through SSRN. The 48-page PDF is a fantastic primer on privacy throughout US history:
SSRN-A Brief History of Information Privacy Law by Daniel Solove:
Solove, Daniel J., 'A Brief History of Information Privacy Law' . Book chapter in Proskauer on Privacy (2006) Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=914271
Abstract: This book chapter provides a brief history of information privacy law in the United States from colonial times to the present. It discusses the development of the common law torts, Fourth Amendment law, the constitutional right to information privacy, numerous federal statutes pertaining to privacy, electronic surveillance laws, and more. It explores how the law has emerged and changed in response to new technologies that have increased the collection, dissemination, and use of personal information.