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Privacy law refers to the laws which deal with the regulation of personal information about individuals which can be collected by governments and other public as well as private organizations and its storage and use.
Privacy laws can be broadly classified into:
General privacy laws have an overall bearing on the personal information of individuals and affect the policies that govern many different areas of information.
These laws are designed to regulate specific types of information. Some examples include:
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was drafted and adopted by the Council of Europe in 1950 and meanwhile covers the whole European continent except for Belarus and Kosovo, protects the right to respect for private life: "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." Through the huge case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, privacy has been defined and its protection has been established as a positive right of everyone.
Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations of 1966 also protects privacy: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
The current state of privacy law in Australia includes Federal and state information privacy legislation, some sector-specific privacy legislation at state level, regulation of the media and some criminal sanctions. The current position concerning civil causes of action for invasion of privacy is unclear: some courts have indicated that a tort of invasion of privacy may exist in Australia; in 2008, the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended the enactment of a statutory cause of action for invasion of privacy.
A Brazilian citizen's privacy is protected by the country's constitution, which states:
In Canada, the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in connection with commercial activities and personal information about employees of federal works, undertakings and businesses. It generally does not apply to non-commercial organizations or provincial governments. Personal information collected, used and disclosed by the federal government and many crown corporations is governed by the Privacy Act. Many provinces have enacted similar provincial legislation such as the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act which applies to public bodies in that province.
There remains some debate whether there exists a common law tort for breach of privacy. There have been a number of cases identifying a common law right to privacy but the requirements have not been articulated.
In Eastmond v. Canadian Pacific Railway & Privacy Commissioner of Canada Canada's Supreme Court found that CP could collect Eastmond's personal information without his knowledge or consent because it benefited from the exemption in paragraph 7(1)(b) of PIPEDA, which provides that personal information can be collected without consent if "it is reasonable to expect that the collection with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement".
In June, 2011, India passed a new privacy package that included various new rules that apply to companies and consumers. A key aspect of the new rules requires that any organization that processes personal information must obtain written consent from the data subjects before undertaking certain activities. Application of the rule is still uncertain.
Section 43A, which deals with implementation of reasonable security practices for sensitive personal data or information and provides for the compensation of the person affected by wrongful loss or wrongful gain.
Section 72A, which provides for imprisonment for a period up to 3 years and/or a fine up to Rs. 5,00,000 for a person who causes wrongful loss or wrongful gain by disclosing personal information of another person while providing services under the terms of lawful contract.
In July 5, 2010, Mexico passed a new privacy package focused on treatment of personal data by private entities. The key elements included where:
In New Zealand, the Privacy Act 1993 sets out principles in relation to the collection, use, disclosure, security and access to personal information.
The introduction into the New Zealand common law of a tort covering invasion of personal privacy at least by public disclosure of private facts was at issue in Hosking v Runting.
Complaints about privacy are considered by the Privacy Commissioner
Computer Processed Personal Information Protection Act was enacted in 1995 in order to protect personal information processed by computers. The general provision specified the purpose of the law, defined crucial terms, prohibited individuals from waiving certain rights.
As a general rule, consent of the individual is required for processing, i.e. obtaining, organizing, accumulating, holding, adjusting (updating, modifying), using, disclosing (including transfer), impersonating, blocking or destroying of his personal data. This rule doesn't apply where such processing is necessary for performance of the contract, to which an individual is a party.
As a member of the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Kingdom adheres to Article 8 ECHR, which guarantees a "right to respect for privacy and family life" from state parties, subject to restrictions as prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society towards a legitimate aim.
However, there is no independent tort law doctrine which recognises a right to privacy. This has been confirmed on a number of occasions.
The right to privacy is not explicitly stated anywhere in the Bill of Rights. The idea of a right to privacy was first addressed within a legal context in the United States. Louis Brandeis (later a Supreme Court justice) and another young lawyer, Samuel D. Warren, published an article called "The Right to Privacy" in the Harvard Law Review in 1890 arguing that the U.S. Constitution and common law allowed for the deduction of a general "right to privacy".
Their project was never entirely successful, and the renowned tort expert Dean Prosser argued that "privacy" was composed of four separate torts, the only unifying element of which was a (vague) "right to be left alone". The four torts were:
For additional information on Privacy laws in the United States, see:
Two Greek laws relevant to privacy are 57 AK and 2472/1997. As regarding photography:
|isbn=value (help). ISSN 1939-8581. Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011. "Associated today with the theatre of war, the widespread domestic use of drones for surveillance seems inevitable. Existing privacy law will not stand in its way. It may be tempting to conclude on this basis that drones will further erode our individual and collective privacy. Yet the opposite may happen. Drones may help restore our mental model of a privacy violation. They could be just the visceral jolt society needs to drag privacy law into the twenty-first century."