Digital Media & Online Privacy
As technology has become more widely available and the ease of transmitting data has developed, we are seeing our personal privacy diminish. Such developments have been wonderful for the ease of our lives, though an online invasion of privacy can be devastating. Recently there have been a number of concerning reports of private companies disclosing private data or utilizing private data for unauthorized uses.
Large scale data breaches, personal data compilations and sale of such information may cross over into invasive practices under digital media law.
Invasion of privacy can also involve the publication of personal and sensitive photographs and information. Claims for invasion of privacy are more serious in the internet age as the publication of harmful material can reach millions of people in a matter of seconds. Reputations can be harmed and emotional suffering can be severe.
Invasion of Privacy Claims
In some of the toughest times in your personal life, you may need the help of an attorney to help navigate the best way through legal recourse and the potential for rightful compensation.
Filing online privacy claims and lawsuits may not be your first choice in settling a personal matter, but in the end it may be the only way to move forward and hold a company or individual accountable.
Joe Lyon in a highly-rated Data Privacy lawyer who has successfully handled invasion of privacy claims resulting in six figure settlements.
The Lyon Firm recognizes the personal nature of many of these sensitive digital media cases.
Invasion of Privacy Cases
Online privacy and digital media law may be a newer concept for many, but it is crucial to understand. Americans now have all their personal information stored on various cloud systems, company networks and databases, and assume it is protected. But when a breach occurs, legal action may be necessary.
Online invasion of privacy cases now dominate the privacy landscape, and companies are held responsible if they fail to protect data of their customers or employees.
Invasion of Privacy Case Study: (Cincinnati, Ohio): Confidential settlement against former spouse for the publication of private photographs taken during the course of marital relationship. Former spouse published erotic photographs on numerous internet sites and forwarded copies to family members to further harass plaintiff. The settlement provided a sense of justice, protection, and compensation that will be used to further Plaintiff’s education.
Invasion of Privacy: Media False Light: (Cincinnati, Ohio): Confidential settlement on behalf of young professional women who was falsely portrayed by the local media as being associated with “sexting high school students.” Despite notice of the false light media clip, the local news station continued to run the story with the clip art that falsely linked the Plaintiff to the “sexting” story.
Common Invasion of Privacy Claims
Privacy is a basic right in the United States, and any individual or company who violates an individual’s privacy can be held liable in a lawsuit.
Examples of Invasion of Privacy Claims:
Data Breach Class Action Lawsuits
There have been numerous data privacy cases and data breach lawsuits filed against companies who have failed to protect consumer’s private information. Data has been leaked and individual private information has been taken for various purposes.
If your data has been hacked or a company has failed to protect you and made you vulnerable financially, you may have legal recourse and can file a claim with the assistance of a data breach attorney.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act has been put in place to protect consumers from pre-recorded calls, auto dialers, robocalls and any unsolicited text messages or phone calls to your home or business. Any person on a Do Not Call Registry and receives calls that violate TCPA laws can file Telemarketing Harassment lawsuits.
TCPA Class Action lawsuits have been settled in recent years for millions of dollars, and violators have been fined thousands for each unlawful call they place.
Invasion of Privacy Damages
Individuals suffer a great deal of emotional distress in times of private uncertainty. Plaintiffs have filed claims based on the loss of business and the loss of reputation. Privacy suits can recover compensation for the following:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Disgorgement of any illicit monetary gains
- Punitive Damages
Revenge Porn Lawsuits
“Revenge porn” is an act where a couple has engaged in consensual private photography or video during the course of the relationship. There is an expectation of privacy and that the video will not be shared outside of the relationship. It is a mistaken belief that this is private property that may be used and published to third parties without consent.
There have been reports of ex-spouses and ex-boyfriends publishing private sex tapes and photographs on websites to embarrass their former partner. This is a tortious act and compensable under Ohio law.
In April 2018, a federal judge in California ordered a man to pay $6.4 million in damages to an ex-girlfriend for the alleged spreading of sexual photos of her online. The defendant posted suggestive photos on dating and pornography websites after they broke up. She sent the photos to him before the relationship deteriorated.
The court’s decision sets an important precedent. Courts around the country have awarded revenge porn victims in recent years, including an $8.9 million award to Washington couple in 2017. Revenge porn laws aim to protect people in the intentional distribution of non-consensual pornography.
As technology enters into almost every aspect of our daily life, we are seeing our privacy diminish. Instances of invasions of privacy are reported in many corporate and private affairs. The loss of private data can be serious, as can the publication of personal and sensitive photographs and information.
Reputations can suffer and emotional distress can be serious. Examples of invasion of privacy claims may include, Revenge Porn, Hidden Video Cameras, and the Unauthorized Use or Sale of a photograph, image, or name.
Victims may file claims for emotional pain and suffering, disgorgement of any illicit monetary gains, and punitive damages. Lawyers argue that there is an expectation of privacy while photos and videos are produced while a couple is in good standing, and thus will not be shared outside of the relationship.
Statute of Limitations
A Statute of limitations refers to the period of time a plaintiffs has to file a lawsuit before legal action is no longer possible. These time period differ based on practice area, location and circumstance.
Plaintiffs have one year from the date of the act to contact an invasion of privacy attorney and file a personal data claim. Anyone who has been the target of telemarketing harassment, identity theft, data theft, unauthorized photographs or another area of digital privacy can contact a consumer protection attorney to review your case. Settlements are likely in online privacy cases where there is clear and preserved evidence.