The new Harry Potter trailer is available and it looks to be dark and full of Lord Voldemort. A true treat for those who enjoy more serious and dastardly films. However, the trailer reminded of a program I attended at AALL 2008 in Portland: Harry Potter and the Law.
In the trailer, Dumbledore gives to Harry the memories of Tom Riddle (Voldemort) from a case containing a menagerie of memories. From this tube, filled with gaseous memories, Harry learns about Voldemort’s childhood and even sees a rather dapper and young Dumbledore. The legality of copying someone’s memory, with or without their consent or allowing them access to it, probably never comes up in the books. Yet, this is worse than any wire-tapping or computer hacking that any government or person could take part in. Are consent forms even involved? Or does Dumbledore just roll up to a person put his wand to their head and extract memories accordingly? Certainly, he doesn’t face any repercussions for this and there are no best practices applied. I can understand recording one’s own memories and accessing them for various reasons; but copying the private citizen’s memories and sharing them with whomever you please infringes on privacy issues to the umpteenth degree.
big time EDIT: See Cristina’s comments below. What if someone in a position of authority could or did take memories!? Imagine the implications!