The Press versus Privacy

When a British court decided that the News of the World violated FIA President Max Mosley's right to privacy by publishing details and pictures of a "sadomasochistic orgy" involving Mosley, the tabloid protested that press freedom was being curtailed. But the court was right: the Mosley case proves that there can be too much press freedom.

LONDON – Privacy has become a big issue in contemporary jurisprudence. The “right to privacy” is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But Article 8 is balanced by Article 10, which guarantees “free expression of opinion.” So what right has priority when they conflict?

Under what circumstances, for example, is it right to curtail press freedom in order to protect the right to privacy, or vice versa? The same balance is being sought between the right of citizens to data privacy and government demands for access to personal information to fight crime, terrorism, and so on.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental democratic liberty. It is a necessary protection against abuses of power and cover-ups of wrongdoing by public officials. It was never more effectively displayed than in the Watergate investigation, which brought down Richard Nixon in 1974.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/VUDxWWW;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.