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Invasion of Privacy Laws in Atlanta

• Sep 27th, 2013

Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into someone’s personal life without permission or just case. Invasion of privacy can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to sue the person or entity who invaded it for damages. Infringements of personal privacy are often damaging, upsetting and distressing. Some examples of this include workplace monitoring, internet privacy, data collection, and other means of disseminating private information.

A non-public individual has a right to privacy from:

1. Intrusion on one’s solitude or into one’s private affairs.

2. Public disclosures of embarrassing private information.

3. Publicity which puts him or her into a false light to the public.

4. Appropriation of one’s name or picture for personal or commercial advantage.

The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a limited constitutional right of privacy from government surveillance into an area where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. However, records such as financial records or telephone records that are held by a third party are typically not protected unless there is applicable, specific federal law in place.

Criminal voyeurism statutes mandate that a person should have the right to privacy in a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance. In other words, a place where one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In instances of a hidden camera in a certain location may be grounds to sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

A number of laws prohibit employers from intruding into their employees’ lives outside of work. Georgia law constitutions specifically provide for the right to privacy, preventing employers from looking into what their employees’ are up to when they are off-duty. Georgia also has laws prohibiting employers from taking any job-related action against a worker that is based on the worker’s conduct off the job.

It is illegal for an employer to intrude into the “seclusion” of the employee. Seclusion refers to the physical areas in which an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy. These areas are off-limits to employers. An employer is never allowed to physically enter an employee’s home without consent for any reason including searching for allegedly stolen property belonging to the employer.

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