Freedom of speech and freedom of the press (freedom of expression beliefs) are undoubtedly one of the most important achievements of democracy. Accurate and complete information and transparency is one of a democratic society’s assumptions. Nevertheless the public’s right (as well as every other human right) to be fully informed is limited by other human rights such as the human right to privacy. The right to privacy protects every person and it is based on unlawful disclosure of the information about your health, financial position or social status, family life, religion, ethnicity, sexuality.
According to Alan F. Westin of Columbia University, privacy is “the claim of individuals, groups or institutions to determine for themselves when, how and to what extend information about themselves is communicated to others.” “The privacy issue involves other concerns often emotionally associated with, but not actually included in the concept of privacy. People may feel threatened by the very existence of massive and efficient information systems even though the privacy has not actually been invaded.” (Sharma 1994: 1, 3)
Leonard McNae raised ethical principles of knowledge, rumours and view separation. It is therefore extremely important the best insight into their importance, critically evaluate the information submitted by as many different people interviewed opinions, and well-researched facts to a journalist investigating publicized cases. Good journalism research usually requires a lot of travelling, interviews and different sources of information, in some cases, co-operation with knowledgeable specialists in the area, the facts, due diligence and psychological effort. Most of journalists, announced today, and collection of information is more often associated with the product or with the right of a citizen to know what causes the majority of situations, distortion of facts and a tendency to overestimation of the profit. In other words, people are not reading what is written in the press but the press writes what people are reading. Therefore, media rate is directly dependent on society. Increasingly, the media’s problem lies not with the objective knowledge and opinions with the presentation, which is covered up by and manipulation of information.
“An invasion of privacy occurs when the unjustified act or conduct of a person intrudes into the personal autonomy of another in his or her personal life or the privacy of his or her body or property so as to cause embarrassment or humiliation or distress or anguish of sufficient gravity to require compensation by an award of damages.” (Rozenberg 2004: 46)
The freedom to express thoughts and beliefs is one of the most important principles of a democratic society and a fundamental condition for self-improvement and self-expression. Therefore, public awareness measures are becoming increasingly important in today’s life. The role of media has strengthened in particular. At the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, there was many national liberation movements held. Then the speech and freedom of expression meant liberation from oppression and new democracies. (Hanna, Dodd 2012: 307)
The right to privacy is relevant to public figures such as politicians or entertainers who deliberately chose to live constantly surrounded by media attention. Often the details of their life are in public interest and reveal to capture the public’s attention. However, they also have the right to their privacy and defence.
The key international document which establish the right to privacy is the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, especially Article 8 of the Convention which refers to respect for his private, family life, confidentiality of correspondence, housing integrity. Public Declaration of Human Rights Article 12 also provides the respect for human dignity, protection from arbitrary interference in private life. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights establishes practically the same as in the Convention and Public declaration of Human Rights provisions in law. This Convention is the example of the application of international law, since the declaration of rights implemented by the European Human Rights Court, it has a great impact on the development of national legislation and case law. Article 10 of the Convention contents can be defined as a statement that it is possible to write everything what does not prohibit the law but also specify the restrictions in order to protect the rights of the individual, the public policy interests of the security of confidential information and definition of human right to privacy in Article 8. (Hanna, Dodd 2012: 308-310)
For example, supermodel Naomi Campbell accused “The Mirror” of violating her privacy, when the newspaper published a picture showing how N.Campbell was coming back from Narcotics Anonymous session in London in 2001. “The Mirror” lawyer Desmond Brown defended the information published in court claiming that celebrities such as Ms. Campbell have no right to lie. N.Campbell admitted that before appearing that article she said she has no drug problems. “The Law Lords reinstated the High Court award of £3,500, based on breach of confidentiality and breach of duty under the 1998 Data Protection Act.” (“Naomi Campbell wins privacy case” at news.bbc.co.uk)
Information concerning someone’s health will almost always be treated as of the utmost confidentiality. The same thing applies to the “real” people. “In 2003 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a British man’s privacy was infringed by the media broadcasting footage of his suicide attempt in 1994.” The court awarded Geoff Peck damages of £7,800. (Hanna, Dodd 2012: 310)
As the modern media technology development can be equated to the revolution, the rapid growth often outpaces the rules governing it, creating a new set of problems. One of them – human rights. With regard to the measures taken to protect individual rights, it is important to mention the French model in 1999. On 27 May it was adopted what people providing airplay are responsible for third-party rights. People are providing access to information to the person who created it. Therefore, even if they do not collect and did not create the spread of information, they still can be accused of prohibited disclosure of information to broadcast. This is one of the first important steps in the field of the Internet, the protection of citizens’ fundamental rights. (Hanna, Dodd 2012: 6-7)
Moreover, the UK government guarantees privacy immunity law to the individual. The right of every person’s delegation to ensure that correspondence, telephone, or any collection of information about a person is not available, unless it is done reasoned court order or by law. A person can freely behave in one way or another as long as offered the right to restrict another person’s rights. Outside interference in the private living space for criminal, civil and administrative liability. So it should be more discussion of privacy and the integrity of the concept and its problems today.
Living in a democratic country where freedom of expression and tolerance of freedom of speech take on particular significance. In addition to freedom of speech and freedom of expression, the same person should be guaranteed a security which ensures non-interference without a valid reason, in his private and family life, leaving a private space. Excessive peering into a person’s private life can’t have any impact on the person who firstly is an individual who may react differently to such interference. Information holder can make an influence on the human behaviour, thinking and choices even if he is not doing it on purpose. So it is important to highlight the fact that the Court has the right to privacy relates to personal honour and dignity.
So it can be said that the concept of defining all privacy laws more or less unified understanding of privacy but the most important thing is that only the person himself is free to draw his private life limits and what limits he wishes to be left alone. As every human being is a person, an individual, his understanding of the different privacy: where one person’s privacy boundaries to begin with, then the other could end this right is protected only if the intrudes upon the privacy without the person’s consent. It goes without saying that the same person and the definition of what it is private should be understood within the framework of the principle of reasonableness. It would be illogical if the person’s name for the third person saying that it said would threaten privacy infringement. The perception of your privacy is overrated, and other persons to express their opinion would make you feel insecure and tight.
In conclusion, the media and the research not only shape public opinion but sometimes become moral harmful than educational. In other words, public information can have both positive and negative effects, depending on the media goals and means of implementation. The media measures of social impact and manipulation of public opinion is a problem, which has very little research. For these reasons, the media should be clearly defined in law and ethics because here many competing constitutional human rights, from which the need to find the line between freedom of expression and individual natural rights arises.