4 Ways Somebody Can Be Guilty of Invasion of Privacy

Mark S Guralnick

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Family Law Attorney

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Posted over 4 years ago. 2 helpful votes

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1

Misappropriation

Assume somebody takes your photograph without your permission. Then, you discover that your photo is on the cover of cereal boxes at the supermarket. It seems that the cereal maker is profiting off of your image. When somebody appropriates (or mis-appropriates) you likeness or image without your permission, and makes a profit doing so, this is a form of invasion of privacy.

2

Intrusion Upon Seclusion

Assume somebody breaks into your bedroom and videotapes you while your sleeping or bathing. This constitutes an intrusion upon seclusion, and is another form of invasion of privacy.

3

Public Disclosure of Private Facts

Assume that you suffer from a sexually transmitted disease, or that you follow a sexual orientation that you do not wish to reveal. If this information is disclosed to the public without your consent, it will constitute another kind of invasion of privacy

4

False Light

Assume that something about you is published in such a way as to characterize you in a false light in the public eye. Imagine a photograph of a man holding a large fish he caught while fishing in the deep sea. Beneath the caption reads the words "Master Baiter." This play-on-words may seem offensive and depending on how it is depicted may cast the fisherman in a false light. This, too, may constitute an invasion of privacy.

Additional Resources

In addition to the four common law invasions of privacy mentioned above, a person can commit a statutory invasion of privacy. That is, a person can violate a privacy law that appears in federal or state statutes. For example, if a hospital discloses a patient's medical information without the patient's permission, they will violate HIPAA, a federal privacy law governing health records.

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