Privacy V Public Interest

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Privacy V Public Interest

  1. 1. Privacy in the Internet agevs.The public’s right to know<br />
  2. 2. What information isn’t legally protected in the media?<br />Information that reveals “Private Facts”<br />Information that is based on “Intrusion Upon Seclusion”<br />Portraying a subject in a “False Light”<br />Information that is not of legitimate public concern<br />
  3. 3. What are “Private Facts”? <br />Reporting a private citizen’s sexual orientation, HIV status or financial problems can lead to a liability lawsuit based on “Private Facts”.<br />Only if these facts are “newsworthy” can they be published. <br />You can be sued for revealing “Private Facts” regardless of their honesty.<br />
  4. 4. How has the legal system defined “newsworthy”?<br />So far, there is no universal legal standard for newsworthiness<br />Judges, Juries, Journalists and editors have created a patchwork definition based upon previous court decisions.<br />
  5. 5. What constitutes illegal “intrusion”?<br />“Intrusion upon seclusion” is when someone intentionally intrudes, physically or electronically, upon the private space or seclusion of a person, or their private affairs or concerns, by use of the perpetrator&apos;s physical senses or by any other form of investigationor observation upon a person&apos;s private matters.<br />
  6. 6. How did we come to a“RightofPrivacy”?<br />The Fourth Amendment provides “the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures ... .” <br />The judicial system has interpreted this over the years to include all manor of privacy protections.<br />
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  7. 7. Do Americans differ from other democracies in their expectations of speech freedom and privacy?<br />“Freedom of the press in the United States is much more than a legal concept- it is almost a religious tenant. The United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, is itself virtually a sacred text, and the First Amendment is an integral part of the value system proclaimed by most Americans.” <br />“This relatively broad press freedom probably is attributable more to the beliefs of the American citizens than to the success of reporters and publishers in litigation.”- AviamSoifer, professor of law, Boston University<br />
  8. 8. What is a “public figure”?<br />Apublic figure can be defined as those who have &quot;thrust themselves to the forefront of a particular public controversy in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved.”<br />A person can become an &quot;involuntary public figure&quot; as the result of publicity, even though that person did not want or invite the publicity. For example, people accused of high profile crimes may be unable to pursue actions for defamation even after their innocence is established.<br />A person can also become a &quot;limited public figure&quot; by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. <br />
  9. 9. How is “False Light” defined legally?<br />Like many of the terms in media law, “False Light” is determined on a case by case basis.<br />“False light” cannot be defended solely on the basis that it is true.<br />There are many situations involving the communication of information which, although not technically false, is misleading.<br />Examples include when a newspaper publishes a story about convicted felons and includes the name or photograph of an innocent person. <br />
  10. 10. Hustler Magazine, Inc. vs. Falwell1988<br />
  11. 11. The Case:<br />The facts:<br />Hustler Magazine publishes a faux advertisement using Falwell as pitchman. <br />In it, it is suggested that Falwell engaged in incest.<br />A lower court had ruled in favor of the charge of “emotional distress” and Hustler inc. appealed to the Supreme Court. <br />
  12. 12. The Decision<br />In an 8-0 decision the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s “emotional distress” guilty verdict.<br />This decision has helped set the precedent for satire in media.<br />Chief Justice Rehnquist stated in the opinion, “The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker&apos;s opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas.”<br />
  13. 13. Students’ views on the internet and privacy<br />On online anonymity<br /> On privacy in social networking<br />“I believe we should be anonymous to a point, I do not believe companies should be able to track your search history, and therefore email you based on what you have searched, I would not like anyone to know when I do any of my mobile banking, but at the same time, how do we regulate the internet when there are internet predators?”<br />“Well, when you think about it, the internet isn&apos;t--by and large--anonymous.  As the electronic investigators say, &quot;Don&apos;t email anything you wouldn&apos;t want spray painted on the side of a barn.&quot;  Most users believe themselves to be anonymous, but in truth, they are not.  The only anonymity I see on the web usually involves people who are trying to pick a fight.”<br />“I think authors should own their material. Especially considering all of the crazy things that are illegal that have been put out on the internet.” <br />“They should share the information only via your request, I know through Facebook, I only allow certain information to be visible to certain individuals.”<br />“I don&apos;t mind my information being shared for marketing purposes, but I do not want them to claim ownership of my personal photographs and using them for profit.”<br />“I think unless you give your permission (your personal information) should be kept private.”<br />
  14. 14. Works sited <br />Brewer, Edward C. (2003). &quot;Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell”. Free Speech on Trial: Communication Perspectives on Landmark Supreme Court Decisions. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. pp. 264–280.<br />Soifer, Aviam (1985). “Freedom of the Press in the United States: General Framework”. Press Law in Modern Democracies: A Comparative Study. New York, NY: Longman, inc. pp 79-80<br />Martin, Edward C. (2005) “False Light”. Net-law Resources. Sanford University Cumberland School of law<br />Dotinga, Randy (2005). “Are You a Public Figure?”. Wired Magazine 1105, pp 22<br />Angoff, Charles (1946). Handbook of Libel: A Practical Guide of Editors and Authors pp 316-318<br />
  15. 15. Students<br />Donnie Snow; 2nd year law student<br />Kip Baer; Senior, Pre-Law<br />Shea Vowell; Junior, Accounting<br />Stacey Gingras; Sophomore, Nursing<br />Nan Koeing; Senior, English<br />

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