Media Privacy

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Introduction

As a human right, privacy has a long history. It is hard to give a clear definition of privacy since it is a broad idea. Sexual identity, lifestyle, credit information, medical records and communication data, etc. are all human right to be kept in privacy. But in recent years numerous cases of breach of confidence are presented in public, especially on business and political secrets and lives of prominent people. Since European Convention on Human Rights was effectively absorbed into British law in the HRA in 1998, conflicts never stop between right to privacy and right to freedom of speech. A coherent line of reasoning for deciding what information should be regarded as private and what should be open to public scrutiny is urgently needed.

Max Mosley v News of the World
In 30th March 2008, News of the World exposed a two-page paper heading "F1 boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers", in that paper, Neville Thurlbeck, the chief reporter, refers to describe Max Mosley as a sick Nazi-Style torturer according to the video secretly filmed at Max Mosley's flat in London by one of the five women. In that video, Max Mosley is playing some S&M games with five women. After that Max Mosley admitted a sado-masochistic sex session with five hookers, but denied on a Nazi theme since the reporter claims this paper concerns public interest because Max Mosley's father was the 1930s fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. The High Court ruled the News of the World did breach Max Mosley's privacy, awarding him £60,000 in damages. At the High Court, Mr. Justice Eady said there was "no evidence that the gathering on 28 March 2008 was intended to be an enactment of Nazi behavior or adoption of any of its attitudes, nor was it in fact." He said it was just "typical of S&M behavior" and "there was no public interest or other justification for the clandestine recording". Thus news of the World had to pay for Max Mosley's legal fees for about £450,000 and its own fees of £400,000. Max Mosley's life has been devastated by News of the World's story and the video on its website because he is so undignified to face his two sons and he is hard to be the world motorsport boss even though he won the case. People do not forget this easy, his image will make F1 no credibility if he is still in charge. In this case, News of the World is invading Max Mosley's privacy but not for public interest or other reasons overweigh privacy. Media do have a right of freedom of speech, but not on such "no-one's business" except the people concerned, it only meet the needs of those who are curious on it. Max Mosley's activity was took place in his own flat, media has no right to invade into without his authority, not even to publish.

Rio Ferdinand v MGN
In 25th April 2010, the Sunday Mirror published an article under the headline "My Affair with England Captain Rio". In this article, Sunday Mirror exposed that Rio Ferdinand, the father of three children with wife Rebecca, was in affair with Carly Storey. Rio Ferdinand was just appointed the captain of England football team in February 2010. The article said Ferdinand and Carly Storey first met in 1990s and they are keeping in touch, in 2010, Ferdinand paid her £16,000 for their 16 years relationship. Ferdinand insists that he was not informed of the publication of the article in advance so he could have the opportunity to apply for an injunction to prevent its publication. He regards this as an invading to his privacy while the Sunday mirror claims this is about public interest. Since he is handed the England skipper's armband, he represented for the country, he must be aware of that he is more closely concerned by the media, his actions not only affects his own reputation, but also the country. Also, no evidence can prove that his relationship with Ms. Storey in the period 1996-2000 was a secret. Instead, Ms. Storey's evidence shows that they did go out in public all the time and their...
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