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.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).