Aug 202010
 
 August 20, 2010  Court, Featured News, Non-U.S.

In England, your privacy rights seem to be a function of how much privacy you can afford to pay a lawyer for.  Matthew Moore reports:

A second footballer has obtained a gagging order to prevent the reporting of details about his private life.

The super-injunction granted by Mr Justice Nicol in the High Court on Thursday prevented a woman from going public with personal details about the Premier League player, who cannot be named.

The multi-millionaire footballer is a father who is in a long-term relationship.

The order represents the latest instance of a celebrity using the courts to silence the press.

Read more in The Telegraph.

While it may be true that the media are more likely to report on celebrities than on non-celebrities, celebrities should not have any greater rights to privacy or a gag order than the general public and what’s going on in England suggests that those who can afford high-powered attorneys will get protections that others will not get.

The UK really needs to take a hard look at its privacy laws and implement them more uniformly. Either people have a right to keep their personal affairs out of the news or they don’t. Although the media there see this is a free press issue, I see it as a privacy issue. Celebrities are not public figures. They are private figures in the public spotlight. As such, they deserve the same protections as private figures not in the public spotlight. If the media could not report on affairs involving John Doe, then they should not be able to report on Star Doe. And if they can report on John Doe, then they need to strengthen the privacy protections, in my opinion.

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