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Breach of Privacy

Breach of privacy may give rise to an additional claim for harassment if there is intention to cause the victim distress

Breach of privacy often give rise to an additional claim for harassment because publication of private information is often indented to cause harassment to the victim.  Time really is of the essence  so in cases of both breach of privacy and harassment you should act swiftly.

Why it is important to act sweetly in cases of brach of privacy and harassment

Breach of privacy often give rise to an additional claim for harassment because publication of private information is often indented to cause harassment to the victim.  Time really is of the essence when it comes to the need to prevent publication of private information. If private information has already been published, you will be expected to take action to have it removed as soon as possible. If  breach of your privacy  has already spiralled and is appearing everywhere on the internet, there strategies that will help remove the offending content from the internet and swiftly.

Who can apply for an injunction for breach of privacy

It used to be the case, for many years, that only celebrity and other individuals in the public eye, had been able to claim breach of privacy and obtain appropriate injunctions to stop such publications. This is no longer the case. Private individuals who have never been famous and who had no desire to become as such account to the vast majority of applications for privacy injunctions in England.

Breach of privacy claims have become much more common by virtue of judge-made extensions to English law. This happened mainly due to  cases of celebrity and other individuals in the public eye against media organisations, where there has been an invasion into the  private lives of those individuals.

Anyone can apply for an injunction for breach of privacy. What used to be an extremely expensive process, has now become, a far more affordable right to be exercise by most members of the public.As we have established in a number of recent cases, all individuals , regardless of their profession, should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Breach of privacy often goes alongside harassment and defamationNo matter what has been published, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then most likely the information is private in nature and this is a matter of breach of privacy.

What risks are associated with bringing a case for breach of privacy

Whenever you bring legal action, including legal action for breach of privacy, you must first consider that in most cases, court documents are public, which means they can be seen and then published by journalists.  There have been cases in the past, where celebrities as well as people who were not previously in the public eye, who attempted to protect what they considered as private information, ended up with further publicity, which they did not wish for. 

For this reason, it is important that you verify first that the likelihood of success of any claim for breach of privacy is high enough and is likely to succeed. If you were to protect your privacy and if your case is going to be decided by the court, it is important that you take, from the outset, appropriate steps to have your privacy protected for the duration of your claim, and beyond.  

How can you find what private information is in the public domain

Your private information may be disseminated on the internet on various websites, social media and private chat rooms. Images and videos that have been obtained as a result of breach of privacy, are often available on the dark web and can be downloaded through torrent sites. Before pursuing a claim for breach of privacy, it is important to understand the full extent of an breach of privacy that might ave already occur.  Harassment is an intention to cause distress or alarm and occurs on two or more occasions and this is easy to prove when it is occurring online.  In case of photographs that were taken without consent and posted online it is possible to carry out an internet search, using special recognition software that will help locate images that had been published in breach of privacy issue. 

Is it possible to commit breach of privacy by publishing information which is untrue

Breach of privacy might relate to information which is true or an embellishment of the truth, which is often a favourite activity of tabloid journalists who tend to  create sensationalism. It is also seen to be used vindictively by competitors or envious peers or disgruntled lovers. However, breach of privacy could be relating to information that is untrue and it is not for you, as the victim to prove that the information is untrue. In other word, if someone publishes information which, say, relates to your sexuality, the fact that the information is false, makes little difference to whether the information is published in breach of your privacy. The same rule applies to information relating to ones' family, health or habits. There is no need for you to admit or deny to truthfulness of the private information. All that you need to show, is that the information published is information of private nature. 

Many cases that this firm deals with include breach of privacy in relation to the sharing of information about one's private life, family life, alleged conduct, alleged past behaviours, alleged affairs, alleged political preferences, alleged sexual orientation, alleged health issues, alleged beliefs and anything about the background of the person, that is true or not true.

How can you prove breach of privacy if the information has not yet been published

You may be aware of a pending publication and want to ensure that nothing about you is published. We regularly engage with publishers to obtain their undertaking that they will not publish and will destroy and/or return your private information. If this fails, we liaise with them on agreed wording. Rarely, we will apply swiftly to the Court to obtain an urgent injunction to prevent publication, which means we can stop the publication of any article that involves you, in any permutation. Many of our clients are in the public eye or are associated with people in the public eye and their right to a private life is as much theirs as it is ours. 

What do to if someone accessed your computer and is threatening to publish information they viewed

If your spouse, associate, boyfriends or girlfriend had obtained private information about you by hacking to your computer or by looking at certain information in your computer, which is of private nature, and if they threatened to publish this information one day,  you can take steps to stop them.  It is unfortunately common for disgruntled lovers to make threats to publish private images, videos or emails.  In those cases, you will nearly always be better off confronting the issue even if you believe that this will cause them upset. The alternative is to allow yourself to be held to ransom, often to someone who is emotionally unstable. 

How can I make sure that my private information is not published in the future

Remedies that you can obtain from publishers of information published following breach of privacy include injunctions to stop a story, an image or a video being published, undertakings not to repeat an article, an apology, payment of damages and legal costs and where appropriate, a statement in open court which is a powerful means of vindication as they will invariably attract some press interest, which can clear the air for many that have been publicly shamed.It is usually made in a mutually agreed worded Joint statement and it is an opportunity for the defendant to acknowledge their wrongdoing. It is very rate that after the conclusion of a court case, the defendant goes to continue publishing the prohibited information. 

What legal help is available if I am a victim of breach of Privacy and Harassment

We are a niche law firm, dedicated in internet law and helping individuals with their breach of privacy and harassment issues are what we do on a daily basis. Our firm is the second highest user of the Media and Communication List at the High Court in London, yet, our clients remain anonymous in most cases and without the risk of information dissemination that is often associated with the larger law firms. We understand the internet, know the law and like ot act swiftly and always, confidentially. 

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