Private Facts: Protecting Your Secrets

Private Facts: Protecting Your Secrets


Everyone has secrets. Stated the way the Court would state it, everyone has facts they don’t want the
public to know And the right of privacy recognizes a
cause of action for private facts because some secrets deserve protection. To bring a claim
for the disclosure of private facts, you must show four things you must show one, the fact private, two, it was not of
legitimate public concern three, that it was communicated to the
public, and four, that the publication is highly offensive to a reasonable person. So let’s go
through it. First, that it’s a private fact is what it sounds like that it has not been posted on your Facebook page, you’ve not
tweeted about it Typically when we think a private facts, we
think of our financial condition or we think of
sexually transmitted diseases or, my personal favorite, sex tapes. The second prong,
not have legitimate public concern, is the flip of it cannot be
newsworthy because if it’s newsworthy the first
amendment protects the publication of that fact Third is communicated to the public which
is exactly what you would think it is somebody’s
spilled the beans and somebody’s talked about it somebody’s posted it on their Facebook page The fourth prong, that is highly offensive to
a reasonable person it’s really especially in today’s TMZ reality TV world: that’s a hard thing to
prove because our threshold for what is offensive has gone so high and in California there’s even another hurdle that you must
prove that it was published with reckless disregard for whether it was a private fact. Next will discuss more contours of this
cause of action in the Case of the Outed Hero.

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