What Human Rights do for Privacy - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Privacy

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TOP 50
50 Cases
1984
Europe

Police need a warrant to tap our phones

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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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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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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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    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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    Children
    2015
    UK

    Children in custody are recognised as vulnerable

    Related European Convention Articles

    A 14-year-old's clothing was removed after her arrest. There was no breach of her right to privacy, but the court emphasised the vulnerable position of children in custody. The police produced a report on vulnerable people in custody.

    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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    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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    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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    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
    2011
    UK

    A culture of illegal phone hacking killed the News of the World

    Related European Convention Articles

    The tabloid newspaper was exposed as using illegal phone hacking to steal private information. This was possible thanks to the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act (see Halford v United Kingdom) and ultimately led to the demise of newpaper.

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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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    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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    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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    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
    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
      2010
      UK

      Police can be sued for revealing a person’s private sex life

      Related European Convention Articles

      A man sued the police for making damaging revelations on his sex-life without proper cause. He won his case, as his right to privacy had been breached.

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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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          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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          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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          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
          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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          Privacy
          2011
          UK

          Reporting of highly sensitive cases can be stopped

          Related European Convention Articles

          A woman in a semi-vegetative state wanted to be allowed to die. A judge defended the privacy of her and her relatives through the first injunction stopping publication of private information on any social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

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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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            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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              What Human Rights do for Privacy
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