How to Make an Invasion of Privacy Claim

There are numerous versions of sharing somebody’s private information by accident that isn’t deemed as an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, when the exposing of these details is done in particular manners, a claim could be likely be made for the damage the act causes.

Before talking about anything else, let us discuss first the meaning of Invasion of Privacy. What Is an Invasion of Privacy Claim? by HG.org provides this information below:

“When someone leaves his or her personal information in the form of a letter or document out in public or someone else does this, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, and this cannot be construed as an invasion of privacy claim. One manner in which this type of claim may be issued is if a private conversation inside the home is being recorded by someone other than the two talking through some fashion of surveillance equipment. This would also need to cause some sort of injury either to the person or his or her reputation. With these stipulations, privacy has been violated and the perpetrator may be liable for damages.

An invasion of privacy is usually only possible when there is some form of reasonable expectation that the person targeted is left alone or in a private setting when the invasion occurs. There are four different kinds of invasion claims possible depending on the circumstances. One is an intrusion of solitude which involves an incident where the victim’s intrusion is considered offensive. Appropriation of name or likeness is when someone’s identity is used usually for monetary benefit without permission. Public disclosure of private facts occurs when the perpetrator reveals secrets of his or her target that are not of public concern. False light is the misrepresentation of a person or casting him or her in a bad light through false information.”

The law recognizes that each one has, under legal circumstances, the right to be simply left alone. It provides that there are certain subjects, places, and actions that are nobody else’s business. On the other side, however, the law also recognizes that at some point, a person’s right to privacy gives way.

For example, many of the things that people do significantly affect others. And the public, often by way of the press, has the right or need to know about them. In the parlance of journalism, such information is said to be news-worthy.

Invasion of privacy law is a matter of balance between these two sometimes conflicting interests. While the law can vary by state, courts generally recognize four types of invasion of privacy:

  • Public disclosure of private and embarrassing facts
  • Intrusion
  • False light
  • Misappropriation

In FindLaw’s Invasion of Privacy, the article talks about the four types of invasion of privacy claims here’s an excerpt:

  1. Intrusion of Solitude

Intruding upon another’s solitude or private affairs, physically or otherwise, is subject to liability if this intrusion would be considered highly offensive to a reasonable person. This type of invasion of privacy is commonly associated with “peeping Toms,” someone illegally intercepting private phone calls, or snooping through someone’s private records.

  1. Appropriation of Name or Likeness

Plaintiffs may make a claim for damages if an individual (or company) uses their name or likeness for benefit without the other party’s permission. Usually this involves a business using a celebrity’s name or likeness in an advertisement. In fact, some states limit this type of invasion of privacy tort to commercial uses

  1. Public Disclosure of Private Facts

This type of invasion of privacy claim must be weighed against the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Unlike defamation (libel or slander), truth of the disclosed information is no defense. Legal action may be taken if an individual publicly reveals truthful information that is not of public concern and which a reasonable person would find offensive if made public.

  1. False Light

A false light claim is similar to a defamation claim in that it allows an individual to sue for the public disclosure of information that is misleading (or puts that person in a “false light”), but not technically false. The key difference is that defamation claims only apply to the public broadcasting of false information; and as with defamation, sometimes First Amendment protections prevail.

Check out more about the invasion of privacy in detail by reading the articles on our blog – Trevino and Loredo Personal Injury Law.