Category Archives: Privacy

Rights of Publicity Often Collide with First Amendment

In law school we all learned about the “four privacy rights” in first year torts class: (1) intrusion into plaintiff’s private affairs; (2) public disclosure of embarrassing private facts; (3) publicity that places plaintiff in a false light; and (4) appropriation of the plaintiff’s name or likeness.

The reason that these are called rights of “privacy” is that they all serve the value of being left alone in a society where technology multiplies the risk of intrusion into our solitude and dignity.

The fourth right, appropriation of name or likeness, alone among the four privacy rights has taken on a twin character.  read more

Bradley Cooper Snipes at French Tabloid Over Right to Private Life: Scope of Legal Rights to Privacy

Bradley Cooper, star of the hit film “American Sniper,” has filed suit in France against the French tabloid “Oops!” concerning a story about his relationship with supermodel Irina Shayk.  The lawsuit alleges that the story, which says that Cooper’s relationship with Shayk is now out in the open, violates his right under French law to a “private life.”  Oops! retorted that the story was based upon photos that ran in a Spanish magazine and were available in the U.S.  (See “Bradley Cooper — Sacre Bleu, I Must Sue Zee French Magazine … Over Irina Shayk.”)

The French Civil Code provides that “everyone has the right to respect for his or her private life.”  read more

Online Privacy Issues Stretch Parameters of Existing Law

A fresh story about the privacy of electronic data appears in the news each week.  People are justifiably concerned that online and mobile device companies not surreptitiously collect or use, without their knowledge and consent, personal information they voluntarily disclose to social media sites. See “Customers Stay Despite High-Profile Data Breaches,”

Not surprisingly, these concerns and stories are spawning lawsuits.  The challenge faced by attorneys filing or defending electronic privacy cases is to determine what legal principles will apply, and indeed whether the behavior complained of is actionable under existing law.  Congress and state legislatures have only begun to consider legislation governing management of electronic personal data in the modern world of social media and mobile devices.  read more