Internet accessibility of images amassed by governmental organizations, commercial entities and individuals is the basis of novel privacy violation claims. However, Internet distribution of images of both individuals and private places collected from public places remains lawful.
Courts have found that individuals have a right to be protected from a third party’s intrusion upon their seclusion; however, this right is not applicable when the image is captured from a public place. The mass distribution of an image can qualify as an intrusion upon seclusion tort and/or a public disclosure of private fact tort. However, with respect to the matter at issue, the intrusion upon seclusion tort is not applicable because the individual was not in a private location, thereby excluding anyone who happened to be on public property. Similarly, the public disclosure of private facts torts is not applicable to the mass distribution of a image capture because the image may have newsworthy value.
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