Gain-Based Relief for Invasion of Privacy
In many common law jurisdictions, some or all instances of invasion of privacy constitute a privacy-specific wrong either at common law (including equity) or under statute. A remedy invariably available for such a wrong is compensation for loss. However, the plaintiff may instead seek to claim the profit the defendant has made from the invasion. This article examines when a plaintiff is, and should be, entitled to claim that profit, provided that invasion of privacy is actionable as such. After a brief overview of the relevant law in major common law jurisdictions, the article investigates how invasion of privacy fits into a general concept of what is called ‘restitution for wrongs’. It will be argued that the right to privacy is a right against the whole world and as such forms a proper basis of awarding gain-based relief for the unauthorised use of that right.
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