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Four Types of Invasion of Privacy

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6.Mar, 2020 0 Data Privacy

Invasion of Privacy occurs when entities or persons intrude upon the private, personal life or data of another person/entity. The list of ways in which privacy invasions occur is endless, as the world evolves. Talk of illegal data collection and collation, workplace or home monitoring, and various other methods, ways of obtaining private information.

Types of Invasion of Privacy

Generally, privacy laws demand that there be a reasonable expectation of privacy in the determination of whether a person has a legal right to privacy. Reasonable expectations in this circumstance being that a person unreasonably/seriously stray on the interests of the aggrieved party.

For instance, let’s say Dave purchases a laptop on hire purchase from a store. He subsequently lends the PC out to a friend for a long number of days. Out of the blue, he gets a call from the store with reminders that he’s obliged to not transfer ownership of the PC until he completes payment. He maintains that he hasn’t transferred ownership, and wonders aloud where the store got the information. After pestering the store representative, he’s informed that the store uses the PC’s webcam to track the PC’s user.

In the above circumstance, Dave has a right to sue the store for an invasion of his data privacy.

Essentially, there are about 4 main types of invasion of privacy, which can lead to civil lawsuits. These include:

  • Intrusion of Solitude: This occurs when another entity or individual intrudes upon the private affairs of another person. An instance of such is a phone call interception, discreet and unconsented media recording, amongst others.
  • Public Disclosure of Private Data/Fact: This refers to the release or publication of personal data which isn’t of public concern or interest. 
  • Appropriation of Private Data: Appropriation of name, likeness, or identity, refers to the unconsented usage of another person’s identity or likeness.
  • False light: This borders on the right of humans to not have false, misleading information or data about them, made public to demean them.

Depending on your location, any of the above could be plainly a civil matter, or civil and criminal at the same time. Whichever it is, we are always on call to render advisory and consultancy legal services.


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