The United States of America is a crucial player in respect of privacy around the world because of their weight and their importance in general at the global level, but also their overwhelming dominance in terms impact of Internet services. In fact, among those companies that are now known to everyone in the world such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, almost everything is on the internet. The United States of America has a long and rich history of protection of privacy innovative.
However, faced with this, there is also a strong conception of freedom of expression, including in the commercial sphere, which has been found in opposition with the concern for privacy in many cases. Freedom of expression and the right to privacy are still underdeveloped and at times misunderstood. Public figures and public officials seem to have less and less right to privacy as they are being exploited by the media for the purpose of having something intriguing to publish.
At the same time, publishers and journalists are being restricted of their rights to inform the public of those individuals’ doings.
It is not in the United States Constitution a direct guarantee of respect for the private life Constitution. The most important element is the interpretation given to the Fourth Amendment – which protects against unreasonable search and seizure for a right to a private life protection on the state the United States Supreme Court in 1967 in the case of Katz c. the United States. The basic idea here is that of a sphere in which people rely on their intimacy, which includes both a subjective dimension and an objective dimension.
The fact that this aspect of the law is based on the Fourth Amendment makes it impossible to extend its application, on the model of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to private actors. There have been many court decisions invoking these rules. The tort of interference with private life, which confers a right to take legal action against private and public actors, has been recognized in law for more than a century, and today in almost every state. Four different legal actions are generally admitted allowing to dispute the unreasonable interference in the privacy of a person, the appropriation of the name or image of others, the public representation of a person in a misleading and unreasonable publicity given to the privacy of a person.
Nowadays, the new technologies for the paparazzi have made the public figures an easier target and have made the paparazzi forgetting about the right to privacy. Everyone should have the right to be respected for his reputation and his private life. No infringement may be made to the private life of a person unless that person gives his or her consent to it, or the law authorizes it. The right to respect for a private life falls within the category of personality rights. It is a fundamental right, and in a sense, it gives people the power to seek redress when it has been infringed. The right to privacy protects individuals from unjustified intrusions into their privacy and the dissemination of personal information. The main elements constituting the domain of private life are the following ones:
· Political, philosophical or religious opinions.
· The intimacy of the home
· Health status, anatomy and body intimacy
· Married and intimate life
Everyone has the right to lead a life with minimal interference. Everyone has the right to the protection of her mental and spiritual integrity. She also has the right to be left alone and not to be harassed by others. We are all bound as citizens to respect the privacy of the people we live with and not to disclose information related to the integrity, status and personal and family life of a person without their consent. For example, members, paid staff and volunteers of community organizations are required to respect the confidentiality of personal information and to keep it private unless authorized by the individual. It’s the obligation to confidentiality.
In the United States, the right of publicity is derived from the so-called right of privacy law, which was first recognized in the Pavesich case where a personal image was used for advertising purposes. Public figures and public officials can be divided into two categories: those who were born into the public eye, and those who have worked their way to celebrity status. It is clear, whether you are known to the public by birth or by a career, everybody still deserves to enjoy the basic human right that is privacy and sense of protection from the prying eye. Still, some public figures intentionally abuse their status among people, which raises doubts whether all public personalities have the right of higher protection. The origin of this recognition is the protection of celebrities in the United States against the publication of personal elements and against the violation of their privacy. As long as public opinion felt that human dignity was hurt by the exposure of the person and his life (for example the use of the person as a publicity object), the right of privacy was sufficient to protect personality. However, this right proved insufficient when it came to the protection of economic rights in the face of celebrities’ misuse of information for economic and advertising reasons. That is to say when the right of the person over the commercial value of his personality had to be recognized. The fact that many personalities use their notoriety for pecuniary purposes through advertising contracts, led the judges to consider that these people do not suffer moral damage, but only material damage. McCarthy’s phrase about those people who care more about their pocket than the protection of their souls is a perfect illustration of the situation. Following the behavior of certain celebrities and based on the waiver theory, it was decided that anyone who seeks advertising implicitly renounces the right to the protection of his private life.
The Constitution of the United States does not expressly give a “right to privacy”. Hence, on a constitutional level, privacy rights arise via the shadow of the Third Amendment (prohibiting the quartering of soldiers without a homeowner’s consent), Fourth Amendment (barring unreasonable searches and seizures), Fifth Amendment (conferring an authorization against self-incrimination), and Ninth Amendment (reserving some rights that the Constitution does not take account to the people). The laws regarding public figure’s photography made by the paparazzi have been always creating some complex questions about the rights of privacy versus the First Amendment. In the United States, images that are a unit taken for editorial use during a public place typically go under the constitutional protection below the right of free speech. Generally, courts have recognized that certain photography corresponds to a right of privacy and is against public policy which will make the paparazzi not protected by the first amendment. Several states, particularly California and New York, have created such statutorily recognized privacy interests. After the death of Princess Diana, and in response to the progressively intrusive and harassing techniques of the paparazzi toward celebrities, the California legislature adopted the Civil Code section 1708.8 in 1998, that created a statutory explanation for action to an invasion of privacy. This section conjointly distinguished between a physical invasion of privacy and a constructive invasion of privacy. Physical invasion of privacy happens when a defendant commits a trespass on another’s land with the intent to capture a “physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a personal or familial activity and also the physical invasion happens during a manner that is offensive to an honest person”. It is vital to notice that, just like the European laws, this portion of the California statute appeared to matter of the photograph to create spheres of privacy protection.
Throughout the century, the protection of privacy has been reluctantly granted by judges, and only in flagrant or scandalous situations. The Farmer’s Market Lovers affair is a good illustration of the attitude of justice in this area. The lawsuit pleaded in 1953 at the California Supreme Court, had as plaintiffs a man and his wife, whose photo had been taken without their knowledge, while they were interrupting their work at the Farmers’ Market in Los Angeles, for a while relaxing. The photo of H. Cartier Bresson showed the couple sitting in an affectionate pose at their workplace close to a kiosk selling ice cream. The photograph was reproduced for the first time on a full page of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, in 1947, in an article entitled “And so the World goes round”. The plaintiffs were presented as the quintessential “love couple”. The publishers of Harper’s bazaar then resold the photo to the Ladies’ Home Journal, who in 1949 used it to illustrate an article on “Love,” which claimed that among the innumerable kinds of love, love lightning “, pure sexual attraction, was doomed to divorce. The same picture was used to symbolize love at first sight. It was accompanied by the legend: “Boasted as enchanting and desirable, love at first sight is an adventure at risk. The Complainants objected to this use by the Ladies’ Home Journal and claimed that they were represented in an unfavorable manner, that their right to privacy had been violated, and that they had suffered a humiliation and inconvenience that warranted compensation of $ 25,000. The trial was held on the legal ground, and the California Supreme Court took advantage of the situation to express its point of view on the problem of the right to privacy: The recognition of the plaintiffs’ right of hot pursuit implies the following observation that a simple publishing of the photograph not accompanied by comments does not represent a violation, subject to prosecution, of the right of the complainants to a private life. The right to a private life can not be extended to the prohibition of any publication whose subject may be of public or general interest. The Supreme Court noted that the photo was not taken surreptitiously on private property, but that the photographer had seized a pose voluntarily assumed in a public square such as a market. By their own voluntary action the civil parties have renounced their right to privacy to the extent that their public pose was assumed because there can be no privacy in what is already public. The Court stated that the purpose of the photograph was simply to expand and increase the number of members of the public who could observe the plaintiffs in their amorous attitude. Their tenderness had entered the public domain. This, they could not later return to their renunciation and try to claim any right to privacy. Similarly, the Court stated that there was nothing particularly offensive in the photograph. The complainants were presented in a rather favorable light: a couple of lovers.
In fact, in a situation to a common place does not require protection under the right of privacy. The Court did not mention that plaintiffs could “own” their image. Support, it was said, that plaintiffs have the right to prevent the publication of a voluntary pose in a public place, without any intention of scandal, would mean that they have the absolute legal right to prevent publication. from their photography. From the point of view of ethics, it would not be such a bad idea since the publisher could as well have used actors and pose them for the image, especially in the case where, as here, the image would be exploited for its entertainment content and not for its informative content. A magistrate objected to the other members of the Court, pointing out that the fact that they revealed their intimacy to a small group of people in the market, to people who perhaps knew them or worked with them, did not mean that they expected their picture to be passed on to millions of readers in magazines. Indeed, the opinion of the majority of the Court means that everything that each individual does outside his home is automatically publishable with his consent, because, in these circumstances, this individual abandons his right to privacy even if the event contains no informative value. With few exceptions, this principle still serves as law today. This doctrine of “public place” combined with the privilege of the press has effectively eliminated any possibility of effective response to media intrusions into the private lives of individuals.
The paparazzi offers a threat to the security of the lives of celebrities. Paparazzi are typically motivated by enormous sums being offered by tabloid and special interest magazines for pictures of celebrities. While many magazines offer larger sums for exclusive photo shoots, many more will still pay a large amount for a photograph of a celebrity in public. In order to have this photography, paparazzi typically go to extreme lengths, chasing celebrities in cars and hounding them on the street. As a result, celebrities generally try to leave the area in order to get someplace where they can go have their business in peace and be acting freely. In some instances, like that happened with Princess Diana this will lead to a car chase with ends in a collision.
America has become obsessed with celebrities. Before the 1990s there were only two sources for celebrity news: Entertainment Tonight and People magazine. Nowadays, there are weekly gossip magazines, more TV programs, and of course, sources on the internet (blogs, social media, fan sites). People have become obsessed with following their every move. Because of this, celebrity pictures and news are worth a lot of money. Paparazzi can get paid anywhere from 80,000-250,000 per year. Veteran paparazzi can get up to 300,000. It depends on their abilities and the photos that they capture. The paparazzi that captured the photo of Kristen Stewart making out with Rupert Sanders is said to have made a million dollars now from just pictures. The paparazzi have become very motivated by money. They seem to do whatever it takes in order to get the right shot at the right moment. Paparazzi are a huge part of the issue in debating the rights that celebrities have. Paparazzi may just be known are “freelance photographers,” but a lot of times they are going too far to get a photo. Even though they are in a public place, their behavior is sometimes harassing. Paparazzi find ways to get by the laws. For trespassing laws, instead of going on the celebs private property, they sometimes use surveillance to find out when the celeb leaves their home. They will also lie in order to get into private events, hospitals, etc. They will use cameras with zoom lenses so they don’t have to trespass onto private property. Stalking laws don’t work for celebs, because there needs to be a threat. The paparazzi will just use the claim they are taking a photo. The right of the paparazzi to take photographs falls within a fundamental First Amendment freedom, the liberty of the press, and also must not be interrupted altogether.
The debate over paparazzi laws comes all the way down to an issue of free speech and public interest versus privacy rights. Unfortunately, this strained equalization act is probably going to remain a status quo for years to come. However, while paparazzi may have a dangerous behavior or be annoying and invasive going too far to outlaw the public figures could have a chilling effect on the interest of a public press willing to report legitimate news. And, as long as the public fits of hunger for pictures of celebrities behaving badly, it is unlikely that the paparazzi are going to be without an employment anytime soon.