Why Is Privacy Important? Privacy, Dignity and Development of the New Zealand Breach of Privacy Tort
Law Liberty, Legislation: Essays in Honour of Joh Burrows QC, J. Finn and S. Todd (eds) (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2008) pp. 231-247
19 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2014 Last revised: 30 Sep 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2008
This chapter explains why privacy is important and how the answer to that question should inform the development of the New Zealand law of privacy. The chapter challenges the oft-held view that in order to establish a breach of privacy, a plaintiff must show that the publicity given to the information would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. It begins by examining why privacy is important on a theoretical level, showing that privacy is an integral aspect of human dignity. It then demonstrates how this conclusion should inform legal doctrine, arguing that actions protecting dignitary interests should be actionable per se and that it is inappropriate to require proof of 'offence' or of tangible harm.
Keywords: Privacy, Hosking v Runting, private information, highly offensive, dignity, tort
JEL Classification: K10, K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation