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Digital Multi-Media and the Limits of Privacy Law

18 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2010  

Jacqueline D. Lipton

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: April 5, 2010


While digital video and multi-media technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent, existing privacy laws tend to focus on text-based personal records. Individuals have little recourse when concerned about infringements of their privacy interests in audio, video, and multi-media files. Often people are simply unaware that video or audio records have been made. Even if they are aware of the existence of the records, they may be unaware of potential legal remedies, or unable to afford legal recourse. This paper concentrates on the ability of individuals to obtain legal redress for unauthorized use of audio, video and multi-media content that infringes their privacy. It focuses on an analysis of the European Union Data Protection Directive. The Directive is one of the most comprehensive digital age legal reforms to address information privacy. Yet, even the Directive suffers from shortcomings when applied to audio, video, and multi-media records. The author argues that global law reform is needed to bring privacy law into the age of digital video and multi-media.

Keywords: Privacy, Audio, Video, Multi-media, European Union Data Protection Directive

JEL Classification: K11, K33, K49

Suggested Citation

Lipton, Jacqueline D., Digital Multi-Media and the Limits of Privacy Law (April 5, 2010). Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Forthcoming; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-16. Available at SSRN:

Jacqueline Lipton (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-383-3207 (Phone)

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