What Human Rights do for Privacy

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Privacy
2013
Europe

UK may develop a law against secret filming and photography

Related European Convention Articles

The European Court of Human Rights decided that Sweden’s lack of a legal ban on secret filming and photography violated the right to privacy. The judgement may have significant consequences in the UK too: paparazzi beware!

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Children
2011
UK

Children’s rights are better protected in immigration detention

Related European Convention Articles

Asylum seekers and their children were detained in an immigration detention centre. Their detention was found to be unlawful and breached their rights to liberty and privacy / family life.

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Privacy
2011
UK

The right to privacy can be protected through “super injuctions”

Related European Convention Articles

A celebrity was threatened with the publication of intimate photographs. The judge unusually allowed the use of a special injunction, binding everyone and forever, to ensure the protection of the privacy of the victim once the trial was over.

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Privacy
2012
UK

Sex offenders can’t be name-shamed on Facebook

Related European Convention Articles

A man who had been convicted for sex crimes involving children acted to have Facebook remove his data and photographs from the page "Keeping Our Kid Safe From Predators". Facebook agreed, as that posed a threat to his safety and privacy.

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TOP 50
50 Cases
2010
Europe

Police stop and search powers can’t be limitless

Related European Convention Articles

Two protesters were stopped and searched, without any grounds for suspicion, by the police. The European Court of Human Rights said this was a violation of their right to privacy. The UK government had to review its anti-terrorism law.

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    TOP 50
    50 Cases
    2014
    UK

    The police can’t keep you on their database for ever

    Related European Convention Articles

    Two people wanted minor crimes committed years ago (shoplifting a packet of fingernails; stealing a bike aged 11) to be removed from the national police database, as it was stopping them getting jobs. Their privacy had been breached and the law was changed.

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      Health
      2014
      Europe

      Medical students can’t watch women give birth without their (genuine) consent

      Related European Convention Articles

      The applicant's privacy rights were breached when she did not give written consent to the presence of medical students when she gave birth. Russian laws were found insufficient in this respect. The booklet on the teaching programme was vague, and made it look like the applicant had no choice in the matter.

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      Privacy
      2001
      Europe

      Public activities may be protected by privacy

      Related European Convention Articles

      The European Court of Human Rights condemned the unlawful recording of two suspected criminals at their house and at the police station and said in principle a person's activities may be part of their private life even if they take place in a public context.

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        Privacy
        2000
        UK

        The right to privacy is recognised by UK law

        Related European Convention Articles

        Since October 2000, when the Human Rights Act entered into force in the United Kingdom, people in the UK have acquired the right to privacy. This was not explicitly protected under UK law pre-2000.

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        Privacy
        2014
        Europe

        There is a “right to be forgotten” by internet search engines

        Related European Convention Articles

        A Spanish man took Google to the Court of Justice of the European Union (not the same as the European Court of Human Rights) to have damaging search results removed. He won: the right to be forgotten is born.

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        Privacy
        2007
        Europe

        There is a right to privacy in the workplace

        Related European Convention Articles

        Ten years after Halford, another case of workplace privacy: the monitoring of telephone, e-mail and internet usage of a employees is unlawful and violates her right to privacy, unless it is clearly and fairly disciplined.

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        TOP 50
        50 Cases
        1984
        Europe

        Police need a warrant to tap our phones

        Related European Convention Articles

        A businessman had his phone tapped by the police without a warrant. The European Court of Human Rights said this as a violation of his right to privacy. So, the government introduced the Interception of Communications Act. A warrant is now needed for phone tapping by police and security services.

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        Health
        2004
        Europe

        Medical staff can’t ignore parents’ objections to treatment of their children

        Related European Convention Articles

        A mother had fought doctors' decisions to give diamorphine to her critically ill disabled son as it could speed up his death. The Court said the approach of the doctors breached the mother and sons' right to family and private life.

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        Privacy
        2014
        UK

        Secret mass surveillance can be unlawful

        Related European Convention Articles

        A group of human rights organisations argued that secret mass surveillance uncovered by Edward Snowden was illegal. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal said that it had been illegal for years before the policy had recently been changed.

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        Children
        2008
        UK

        Children can be protected against intrusive media attention

        Related European Convention Articles

        A photograph of the author JK Rowling's son was taken and published without permission or consent. It was decided that the child was entitled to privacy and the law should protect children against intrusive media attention.

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        Children
        2012
        UK

        Children’s identities are usually kept secret in personal injury cases

        Related European Convention Articles

        A child was involved in a personal injury case. The child's identity was kept a secret, to ensure her compensation was protected from those who might misuse the funds. Publication would breach her right to privacy / family life.

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        Children
        2012
        UK

        Children in care must be properly protected by the state

        Related European Convention Articles

        Two boys came into local authority care and were freed for adoption. The boys were moved between foster placements for 11 years, becoming increasingly unsettled. This breached several of their rights and local authorities had to re-examine their care systems.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2004
          UK

          The supermodel’s privacy was breached by a tabloid rehab scoop

          Related European Convention Articles

          Naomi Campbell complained about photos taken of her leaving a rehab clinic and published in the Daily Mirror. The UK's highest court found Campbell's right to privacy outweighed that of the press to run the photos.

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          Privacy
          2011
          UK

          A new law of privacy is evolving, case by case

          Related European Convention Articles

          After the enactment of the Human Rights Act, the UK government blessed the development of privacy law by the Courts. A new claim for misuse of private information is being shaped by judges.

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          Privacy
          2011
          Europe

          If mass surveillance occurs, it must be through clear, accessible laws

          Related European Convention Articles

          Russia's registration of human rights activists in a surveillance database regulated by a ministerial order is unlawful. All States are required to regulate mass surveillance through clear and accessible laws.

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          Privacy
          2014
          UK

          Private information can’t be misused by organisations

          Related European Convention Articles

          A group of UK Google users sued Google for the unlawful tracking and collection of their private information. The judge allowed the case to proceed and acknowledged that misuse of private information could result in a damages claim.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2003
          Europe

          A council shouldn’t have given CCTV suicide footage to media

          Related European Convention Articles

          Mr Peck's suicide attempt was caught on CCTV. The local council gave the footage to the media. This was a violation of his right to privacy - things happening in public can still be private.

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            TOP 50
            50 Cases
            2008
            Europe

            Government spying powers are too wide

            Related European Convention Articles

            The European Court said the government's powers to spy were too wide and opaque. Liberty and other civil liberties organisations accused the Ministry of Defence of spying on their phonecalls and emails. This is one of a series of cases challenged the UK to greater openness about surveillance.

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            Children
            1989
            Europe

            Care leavers can access their child care records

            Related European Convention Articles

            A care leaver wanted access to care records to establish whether he had grounds to complain of ill-treatment whilst in care. He was not permitted to see the entire file. This breached his right to respect for private life.

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              What Human Rights do for Privacy
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