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Privacy and False Light

There are generally five distinct rights to privacy, in tort law. The most common personal injury ones are:

Intrusion upon seclusion involves the intentional intrusion upon the solitude or seclusion of another individual. This could be an intrusion into one's home, office or hotel room. The intrusion need not be physical and electronic surveillance equipment may sometimes infringe on a person's solitude and seclusion.

Publicly disclosing private information is also a tort of privacy, where unlike defamation, the disclosed details need not be false. The key is that the information must be disclosed in a manner that would be highly objectionable to a reasonable person.

False light publicity places someone in a false light before the public. An example of this would be a misleading publication to the public may be a cause for action under this tort.

Appropriation of name or likeness involves the use of someone's name or personal characteristics without their consent. Usually, this arises in advertising cases.


Recently in Privacy / False Light Category

If you've gotten some cosmetic surgery, you'd probably want to show off the new you. And it's understandable that plastic surgeons and clinics would want to show off their good work as well. But some of that work can be pretty personal, and while you can choose whether and how to show off your new body, does that mean surgeons and clinics can post whatever photos they want online, without your permission?

A Georgia woman is suing an Atlanta-area plastic surgery clinic, claiming they posted nude photos of her, including identifying tattoos, on their website, and those photos are still online, including Yelp and Facebook.

Dancing Cosmetic Surgeon Faces New Lawsuit

You don't need your mechanic to be a good cook, your dentist to be a skilled juggler, or your butcher to be an inspiring poet. And you do not need your cosmetic surgeon to be a good dancer. In fact, all those in favor of making it illegal to dance while performing surgery, raise your hands. If you need more convincing, the wildly inappropriate videos of one Atlanta-based dermatologist might help, as will the lawsuits filed against the dancing doctor, with claims ranging from invasion of privacy to malpractice resulting in brain damage.

CVS Revealed HIV Status of 6,000, Lawsuit Claims

Imagine you're at the doctor's office and the nurse calls out your name and tells the entire waiting room that you're there for a follow-up of your positive HIV test. You would most likely feel pretty violated. That's probably similar to what a group of patients is feeling after their HIV status was revealed by a CVS mailing. Now, at least three patients are suing.

Women in Peeping Tom Bathroom Case Don't Need to Reveal Identity

It's creepy to find out that a bathroom you used had a camera in it. And, if you did find out that there were recordings, you'd want people held responsible for this invasion. Well, that's how a number of women felt after finding out that a bathroom they had visited contained a spy cam. Although their claims were initially dismissed, a New Jersey appeals court revived their claims when it ruled that the women aren't required to identify themselves in the footage to prove their case.

HIV Patients Sue CVS Over Privacy Issue

There are many things that Americans hold dear, and one of the big ones is the right to privacy. And, when we feel that we've suffered an invasion of privacy, we want the person who violated our privacy held accountable. That's what's happening with a group of HIV patients who have filed a class action lawsuit against CVS.

The fact that an Indiana couple found hidden cameras in their Florida Airbnb rental, and that local law enforcement believes dozens of renters at the same location may have been illegally captured on video going back years, is distressing. But it's not new. Airbnb was sued two years ago after a German woman discovered a hidden camera in her California rental.

Clearly the owners of the rentals are violating criminal statutes and could be civilly liable for the secret surveillance, but what about Airbnb itself? Can the company be sued if guests are filmed without their permission?

Revenge porn, or posting an ex's sexually explicit photos or videos on the internet, is a nasty and sometimes illegal business. And while state laws and courts have begun cracking down on those who post and facilitate revenge porn, protections for victims are far from perfect.

Take the case of one New York woman, who, while successful at getting surreptitiously recorded sex tapes removed from porn sites, is having a harder time scrubbing her search results from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Now she is suing the search sites in the hope that removing her name entirely will finally keep the more promiscuous search results from popping up.

Our medical data is some of the most personal information that we entrust to third parties. Our medical records are sacred and their privacy is paramount. Which is why we have federal laws protecting the privacy of our medical records and requiring hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers to report hacked, lost, or otherwise exposed medical records. And those reports aren't good.

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified 1,634 breaches of patient medical information, and those are just the cases affecting 500 or more individuals. There could be thousands more medical data breaches (intentional and unintentional), possibly affecting your personal medical information.

Doctor Sued Over 'Cocaine Nose' Photos Posted Online

A Chicago plastic surgeon is being sued by a former patient after allegedly posting before-and-after pictures of the woman's nasal reconstruction surgery on his website and labeling them "cocaine nose."

Sabrina Kopp claims that when she underwent facial surgery in 2004, her plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Walton took photographs of her face with the understanding that they would be part of her secure medical records, reports the Chicago Tribune. However, when the doctor opened a new clinic in 2013, the images of her procedure were posted on the clinic's website as an example of "cocaine nose."

What is "cocaine nose" and what laws might the doctor have broken by posting the pictures on his website?

Can You Sue If Your Photo Is Used Without Your Permission?

Opening up a magazine or surfing the Web and unexpectedly seeing a picture yourself can certainly be surprising. And although some may be flattered by the extra exposure, some may be a little bit less than thrilled.

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt was certainly not amused when she discovered a company called Slim Spray had been using a photo of her holding their product to promote its line of weight loss sprays without her permission. She's now taking the company to court.

So if you come across a photo of yourself being used in a way that you didn't agree to, what can you do about it? Here are three possible legal routes you may be able to take: