Privacy Rights - Invasion of Privacy
There are two distinct invasion-of-privacy torts — (1) the tort of improper public disclosure of private facts, and (2) the tort of improper intrusion into private matters (see generally Shulman v. Group W Productions, Inc. (1998) 18 Cal.4th 200, 214-242)
Improper Public Disclosure of Private FactsGenerally, the material published must be private information that “is not of legitimate concern to the public.” Its disclosure must also be “highly offensive to a reasonable person.” Material private enough to trigger this tort claim could include disclosure of sexual orientation, medical history, or other personal, private facets of a person’s life. The pressing question in public disclosure of private-facts cases is whether the information is newsworthy or of legitimate concern to the public. "Lack of newsworthiness is an element of the `private facts' tort, making newsworthiness a complete bar to common law liability" for this tort. Newsworthiness is evaluated by an examination of several factors, including the social value of the disclosed material, the depth of intrusion into personal life, and the extent to which the person is already in public view.
Improper Intrusion into Private MattersAs the Roberts Court had held, ''One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.'' An intrusion on seclusion claim is a special form of invasion of privacy. It applies when someone intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another. In California, to make out an intrusion on seclusion claim, a plaintiff must generally establish 5 elements:
1) The Plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy;
2) the Defendant intentionally intruded upon the Plaintiff's reasonable expectation of privacy;
3) the Defendant's intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person;
4) the Plaintiff was harmed (mental anguish or suffering);
5) Defendant's conduct was a substantial factor in causing the harm.