Breach of Privacy

What is a Breach of Privacy?

 

A breach of privacy occurs when your private or confidential information is disclosed to a third party, who is not authorised to receive that information. If your private information is misused in this way, it can cause huge embarrassment and distress.

Claims can arise in various different ways. For example:

  • A public body such as a GP practice or hospital releasing information about your medical conditions which you are entitled to keep private;
  • The publication of stories about you in newspapers or online, which contain private information about you (sometimes private sexual information);
  • The publication of private family information in a public context; and
  • Information which is confidential to you (for example commercially sensitive information relating to your business) being leaked in public.

Private information can be misused if emails are sent to the wrong recipients, or if extra people are copied in wrongly. Another example would be if photographs which you have taken in your own home or other private space, are misused by someone.

Sensitive personal data (such as information relating to your mental or physical health conditions) are subject to very strict rules about processing and storage and if those rules are breached, you can have a powerful claim.

If you have been the victim of a breach of your privacy or if your confidential information have been misused, it may be possible to bring a claim for compensation. You can be awarded damages and your opponent can be made subject to an injunction, to prevent any continued misuse of your private or confidential information.

In some circumstances, the publisher of your private information may claim that it is in the public interest for the information to be disclosed. However, this will depend upon the facts of each individual case.

As with any claims relating to reputation, it is advisable to start proceedings as quickly as possible. The first step is to send your opponent a letter of claim and if the case cannot be resolved by negotiation, then you would need to consider issuing proceedings in the High Court.

If your privacy has been breached or if your confidential information has been misused, contact us today to find out how we can help.

Latest Breach of Privacy News
  • A Judge confirms that individuals can expect their private correspondence to be protected. This will apply to letters, emails, texts and all other forms of written communication.
    22/02/2021
  • The BBC will not be appealing the case it lost against Sir Cliff Richard, but what will the implications be for the general public?
    15/08/2018
  • Legal costs reach £900k before a claim has even got off the ground. How is this possible?
    09/05/2017