Paul Wragg, ‘Recognising a Privacy-Invasion Tort: The Conceptual Unity of Informational and Intrusion Claims’

ABSTRACT
This article presents the novel view that ‘inclusion into seclusion’ and ‘public disclosure of embarrassing facts’ (‘misuse of private information’ (‘MOPI’) in the UK), which both the academic commentary and US case law treat as two separate legal actions, occupy the same conceptual space. This claim has important practical ramifications. No further development of the law is required to realise an actionable intrusion tort as part of the UK’s MOPI tort. The argument is defended in doctrinal and theoretical terms and by reference to both UK and US law. It is presented in three forms: first, in negative terms, that the orthodox distinction between the two claims (informational privacy and intrusion) is unsustainable; second, in positive terms, that both guard against the same wrong (unwarranted privacy invasion) and the same harm (mental distress), in a way that is distinctive from other privacy actions and legal claims based upon the autonomy value; finally, in pragmatic terms, that MOPI’s mature jurisprudence is sufficiently flexible and dynamic to recognise intrusion-only claims using its existing legal framework.

Paul Wragg, Recognising a Privacy-Invasion Tort: The Conceptual Unity of Informational and Intrusion Claims, Cambridge Law Journal, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0008197319000400. Published online: 30 April 2019.

First posted 2019-05-02 13:50:49

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