Paper – Public Interest vs. Private Lives

beSpacific 2017-03-14

Yanisky-Ravid, Shlomit and Lahav, Ben Zion, Public Interest vs. Private Lives – Affording Public Figures Privacy, in the Digital Era: The Three Principles Filtering Model (March 12, 2006). University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 19, No. 5, 2017. Available at SSRN:

“On the basis of reasoning that there exists a broad “right to know” information of public concern, freedom of speech generally overrides public figures’ right to privacy in the United States. The legal result reflects a situation in which public figures have almost no right to privacy even when published information is false. The new realm of the digital era brings new threats to public figure privacy that invokes the need to rethink this norm. We agree with the notion that public figures, by virtue of their position in society, waive their right to privacy when there is an important and legitimate purpose to informing the public of certain information. However, we depart from the U.S. legal norm, maintaining that, in general, public figures, under certain conditions, should be able to enjoy a right to privacy similar to that afforded to private citizens. In support of this proposition, we have developed a Three Principle Filtering Model, to be used in determining whether or not the rationale for publication of information about public figures is legitimate and hence should be allowed or prohibited….”