Oct 022012
 October 2, 2012  Posted by  Breaches, Laws

Privacy law scholar Dan Solove writes:

The recent incident of paparazzi snapping photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing in the nude has sparked renewed attention to privacy law.  According to the Washington Post: “The royals contend that the photos of Middleton — apparently taken by a single paparazzo — violate her privacy and that the photographer trespassed on the private French estate where she and Prince William were vacationing. The editor of the Italian magazine disputes the trespassing allegation, saying the photos were shot from a public road.”

Many pundits have said dismissingly that any legal action Middleton might take is essentially a fool’s errand and she shouldn’t have expected privacy.  For example, Donald Trump has declared in a tweet that Middleton has “only herself to blame.”  According to a Washington Times editorial: “Princess Kate needs to remember there is no privacy, so keep your top on.”

These sentiments are the typical reactions to media invasions of privacy — people should expect no privacy whenever they are outside the confines of their homes.  I contend that this view isn’t correct both descriptively and normatively.

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