An invasion of privacy occurs when there is an intrusion upon your reasonable expectation to be left alone. The four main types of invasion-of-privacy claims are as follows:
- Intrusion of Solitude: Intruding upon another’s solitude or private affairs is subject to liability if the intrusion is considered highly offensive to a reasonable person. Examples include someone illegally intercepting private phone calls, or snooping through someone’s private records.
- Appropriation of Name or Likeness: Plaintiffs may make a claim for damages if an individual or company uses their name or likeness for benefit without their permission. The plaintiff here is often a celebrity whose name or likeness has been used in an advertisement.
- Public Disclosure of Private Facts: If an individual publicly reveals truthful information that is not of public concern and which a reasonable person would find offensive if made public, they could be liable for damages. This type of invasion of privacy claim must be weighed against the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.
- False Light: Generally, a false light claim must contain the following elements: (1) the defendant made a publication about the plaintiff; (2) it was done with reckless disregard; (3) it placed the plaintiff in a false light; and (4) it would be highly offensive or embarrassing to a reasonable person.
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.