Does privacy still exist? And should it? Has the ‘Celebrity Threesome Super Injunction’ or the ‘PJS’ Injunction just made a mockery of the concept? Before you rush to judgement on PJS and shout at the top of the Twitter ramparts – “Out with his/her name, Off with their privates”, ask yourself: “If this was me, wouldn’t I still want to have the right to defend that small corner of England they quaintly call ‘privacy’?”
In the modern world ‘public’ and ‘private’ are in danger of losing their meaning, where people post what they got for their birthday, who they are having supper with or what they’ve got on under their shirt. We live in a world now where people publish compulsively that which only their immediate family and friends should know.
The PJS case upholds the rule that people can and should enjoy some element of a private life – free from the intrusion of others. That’s a good thing. To agree with me you first have to get beyond the absurdity, that the names of these people can be found in about 3 clicks. Secondly, overlook the contradiction that these people have earned huge money selling images and stories to the press about their near perfect family lives. You now have to imagine this was you, trying to keep something embarrassing private.
You work for a very high profile company and have a well paid job which puts you on the front line. You might be high up in the City, Media or Medicine. You’ve just had a brilliant birthday or got married and splashed pictures of yourself all over your Facebook. Something terrible happens – so terrible, you lose your job and your reputation. It’s probably totally unfair, you may have been scapegoated, but the damage is done and you’re out on your ear.
Would it be right that because you had previously published something about yourself on line and shared aspects of your private life, you would be unable to defend any other rights to privacy? If the masses had their way, that’s exactly what would happen, as they shout for justice and for the names of PJS and their friends to be published and the stories to be laid bare.
I say it is a good thing that the courts have found in favour of PJS. I don’t agree with what they’ve allegedly got up to or how they’ve gone about keeping out of the public domain, but I’m glad the right to at least make the case for a private life, is still alive and kicking.
by David Gordon
If you’d like to discuss this or any other aspect of defending your rights, please call me on 0207 113 4003 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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