Invasion of Privacy
People are naturally social. We like to connect whenever we can. Despite this, we also desire privacy when it comes to our homes and our data. This is where the right to privacy, generally defined as the right to be let alone, comes in. When those are trampled on, it can constitute an invasion of privacy.
What Is the Legal Explanation?
Invasion of privacy is known as a tort. To put it another way, it’s a violation of a right that can lead to legal recourse. In this case, it’s an unprovoked entry into an individual or group's right to privacy. This can happen in several ways:
Stealing one’s name or likeness.
Maliciously interfering with one’s seclusion.
The publication of private data reasonable people would find objectionable.
Distributing private information that doesn’t have any need to be exposed to the public.
The release of personal data that places an individual in a false light.
How is Invasion of Privacy Handled?
Normally, invasion of privacy issues is handled within a common-law court. Thus, a person or a business can be sued if the affected party feels their privacy has been trampled on. This would become a criminal situation if the incursion resulted in the theft of materials or physical harm.
Normally, the party that is charged with an alleged invasion of privacy is a professional or business. To protect themselves, these entities purchase some form of liability insurance. This covers payouts after judgments as well as any related legal costs.
Here are some instances where an invasion of privacy might be considered:
An individual or company intercepts the calls of another party.
Photos or videos of the alleged victim are taken without their consent.
A company uses the likeness of a famous person to sell its products without prior approval.
An organization or professional pays someone for private texts or phone call transcripts from the alleged victim.
The residents of an apartment realize that cameras have been installed on the space by the landlord.
Privacy at Home and the Workplace
There’s a distinction between home and work when it comes to an invasion of privacy. Though not directly listed within the Constitution, the right to seclusion and the protection of personal data is implied. Furthermore, many states have enacted laws to ensure this is addressed.
Conversely, it is more difficult to claim an invasion of privacy while at the workplace. The company owns the equipment that is used in daily operations. Therefore, it has the right to view personal information sent through its networks. Thus, managers have the right to search through private communications, particularly if they sense potential criminal activity.
This doesn’t mean there is no privacy. States have approved laws that prevent businesses from putting a video or audio recorders in bathrooms or similar areas. Additionally, search warrants might be required should authorities wish to review a company’s sensitive material.