Looking Again at Photographs and Privacy: Theoretical Perspectives on Law’s Treatment of Photographs as Invasions of Privacy
LAW, CULTURE AND VISUAL STUDIES, A. Wagner, R. Sherwin, eds., Springer: Netherlands, 2013
33 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2011 Last revised: 15 Jul 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2011
Courts in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are increasingly entertaining claims for invasions of privacy. Many of these cases involve the publication of photographs by a media outlet. In the United Kingdom in particular, the means of protecting personal privacy has been the adaptation of the existing, information-based cause of action for breach of confidence. This has entailed treating photographs as a form of information. This essay analyses the imposition of liability for the publication of intrusive photographs, as it is developing in the United Kingdom, using Campbell v MGN Ltd  2 AC 459 and Douglas v Hello! Ltd  1 AC 1 as case-studies. It applies critical insights from leading theorists on photography, such as Barthes, Berger and Sontag, to suggest that the judicial treatment of photography is underdeveloped.
Keywords: Media law, Privacy, Breach of confidence, Photography, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Theory
JEL Classification: K10, K13, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation