Privacy FAQs

Protecting reputations and privacy rights is at the heart of our practice

The law of privacy/confidentiality can be complex and is invariably highly fact-specific. This Q&A is designed to provide guidance only. When faced with a breach (or potential breach) of your rights in privacy/confidentiality or under the Data Protection Act, you should always seek advice from specialist privacy lawyers. Our lawyers’ profiles can be viewed here.

  • This is a breach of your privacy, and may occur if private and non-trivial information about you has been disclosed without your consent.

    An invasion of privacy can be defined legally as an unjustified disclosure of private and non-trivial information about an individual (including images), which causes distress to the individual. Recent cases have acknowledged that all persons, including public figures and celebrities, have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Although this concept has developed from the law of confidence (confidentiality), it is now substantially different from the traditional breach of confidence claim.

  • There is no fixed definition of private information. However, generally speaking information about your sex life, medical history or your family and home life will usually be classified as private. The court will decide whether or not you had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Photographs taken in a public place might still be private if they were taken without consent on a private occasion.

  • Yes, but what you can reasonably expect to be private might not be the same as for an individual with no public profile.

  • The main defence is that there is a public interest in disclosure, or that the material has already been made public.

  • You may be able to get an injunction preventing publication or get the agreement of the person threatening to publish not to do so, if you have not consented to publication and the publication would amount to an infringement of your privacy. It is important to act quickly. The damage is usually done once the material has been published.

  • Once private information has been published you can claim damages and an injunction preventing further publication.

  • Yes. You also may own the copyright in photographs, and as an individual will have rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR to protect your personal data, including photographs.

  • Yes. A claim for breach of privacy must be brought within 6 years of the private information being published.

24/7 Partner-led Crisis Response

We have a 24-hour, 365 days of the year crisis management response team – one of our specialist partners is always available to respond to urgent crises at any time.

For more information on privacy and how Carter-Ruck can help you please get in touch with us.