Dominic Crossley and Sarah Webb write about the decline in applications for privacy injunctions in the UK courts since 2011, when there was a rash of (unsuccessful) court cases from those who wished to keep their private peccadilloes out of the media. Crossley and Webb write, in part:
It should also be said that another explanation for fewer privacy injunction applications between 2011 and today may simply be the result of improved newspaper conduct. There is little doubt that the revelations that provoked the Leveson Inquiry and the inquiry itself resulted in a period of serious introspection among tabloid newspapers. Many tabloid journalists were facing police investigations and the News of the World closed overnight. Proprietors and editors feared that state regulation was around the corner if their journalists’ conduct did not improve.
The public perception of privacy law has also changed. Public opinion reacted to the revelations that journalists were hacking victims of crime, and it was not just celebrities’ privacy at stake. Likewise, social media was serving to bring the fear of public exposure to far more people – ‘revenge porn’ and ‘cyberbullying’ demonstrated the need for privacy protection for everyone.
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