Everyone has a right to privacy, whether they are public figures or average citizens. With the rise of social media and the everyday use of the internet by most people, many aspects of our lives that used to be private are now in the public sphere. However, as long as you control who has access to your information, you still theoretically have privacy. When others begin to encroach upon your private life and personal affairs, then it can be considered an invasion of privacy, and you may be able to take legal action. Knowing the most common types of invasion of privacy can help you protect your rights.
What is an Invasion of Privacy?
An invasion of privacy is any unwarranted or unwelcome intrusion into a person’s private life. Basically, everyone has the right to be left alone if they choose. If a person knowingly consents to put their private affairs out into the world to a selected audience, such as through social media, then that is not an invasion of privacy. The press also has some freedom to report on people’s private lives without censorship. We’ve all seen tabloids and TV shows that discuss celebrities’ home lives. But the press walks a fine line, and they could face civil charges if their coverage is deemed unwarranted. Free speech must be balanced against an individual’s rights to their privacy.
What Are the Four Legally Recognized Types of Invasion of Privacy in Florida?
For an individual to bring a case to civil court, the alleged invasion of privacy must fall into one of four legally recognized categories:
- Intrusion upon seclusion: This applies if someone invaded your personal affairs in a way that would be objectionable to a reasonable person. Examples can include trespassing to take pictures of you in your home or intercepting private phone calls.
- Appropriation of likeness or name: If someone uses your name or image without your consent to benefit themselves, that is an invasion of privacy. A person can’t legally claim that a celebrity uses or endorses a product they’re trying to sell without the celebrity’s permission.
- Public disclosure of private facts: Publications cannot print stories with non-newsworthy private facts about a person that could reasonably cause severe offense or embarrassment. This typically includes facts about a person’s finances, sexual relationships, or private health matters.
- False light publicity: Many types of media frequently embellish stories to make them more exciting or eye-catching. However, if the exaggerations create a false narrative around a person that paints them in a negative way that would be offensive to a reasonable person, then a civil suit may ensue.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help if You’ve Suffered an Invasion of Privacy?
If someone has intruded into your personal life in a way that has caused harm to your reputation or made you feel deeply uncomfortable, you may be able to bring a civil case against them. Having good documentation of the invasion of privacy is crucial, and you should be prepared to articulate how it negatively impacted you. It can be very uncomfortable and alarming to experience an invasion of privacy, and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
Contacting a skilled and compassionate personal injury lawyer should be your first step after discovering an invasion of privacy. You want to be certain you file your claim within the statute of limitations. Otherwise, you lose your right to seek compensation. Call us today at 305-692-0125 to learn more about your legal options.