Disorderly Conduct: Invasion of Privacy

Invasion of Privacy is a form of Disorderly Conduct that occurs when there is an intrusion upon your privacy when you have the reasonable expectection be left alone, unobserved, and unmonitored.  Invasion of Privacy laws give you the right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity (such as a business or corporation) that has intruded upon your privacy.

Disorderly Conduct Categories

Intrusion Upon Seclusion

In your home, for example, you have a reasonable expectation to privacy, and thus finding someone peeking into your windows (commonly known as a “Peeping Tom”) would most likely be offensive to you.  In public, where the right to privacy is generally less strong, you do have the right to privacy in areas such as restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms.  The use of one-way mirrors, hidden cameras, hidden microphones, peep-holes, or other means of observing a person in a private setting are prohibited.  The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 further strengthens these rights to privacy by:

prohibiting the capture, videotaping, photographing, filming, recording by any means, or broadcasting “a private area of the individual,” which includes the naked or underwear-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or any portion the female breast under the top of the areola.

Prohibition of Video Voyeurism, Sec. 1801. (b)

Other aspects of Invasion of Privacy include workplace monitoring, Internet privacy, data collection, eavesdropping or recording of private phone calls, and other means of gathering/disseminating private information.

Misappropriation

Using someone’s likeness or image without your permission

Public Disclosure of Private Facts

Disclosure or publication of highly personal and/or embarrassing information that would be would be both highly offensive to a reasonable person and not of legitimate public interest, such as illegally obtaining financial/banking records, medical records, phone records, and so on. Information in the public domain is not protected and gathering and researching facts that have already been made public is not a crime, unless you use that information to portray a person in a False Light.

False Light

Publishing facts or information knowingly, and with reckless disregard, in such a way as to characterize a person in a misleading way (or puts the person in a”false light”). The publication must falsely represent the person, and that representation must be highly offensive to a reasonable person.