What qualifies as an online invasion of privacy?

The internet is largely driven by the exchange of information. Thus, if you spend a significant portion of time online (either for your own personal fulfillment or for business purposes), the chances of your receiving information and content from others both inside and outside of Atlanta may be high. Such information is often shared with the expectation that it will be kept private. The question then becomes what are the restraints on its use? 

Online invasion of privacy is recognized as being a serious form of cybercrime. Indeed, in Section 19-9-91 of Georgia’s Code of Crimes and Offenses, it is recognized that internet crime can have a far deeper and more damaging impact than other forms of white collar criminal activity. Because of this potential, authorities may be more apt to apply invasion of privacy reasoning in justification for bringing criminal charges against you. Your best answer to such claims may be to cite the specific examples of such activity to see if your actions qualify. 

The most obvious form of online invasion of privacy is an intrusion of solitude. This occurs when one invades one’s privacy when there is a reasonable expectation of solitude (such as you observing another on a camera or video feed). Other less common examples include: 

  • The appropriation of one’s name or likeness
  • The public disclosure of private fact
  • Portraying someone in a false light

The common thread amongst these crimes is a lack of consent on the part of an alleged victim to have their information shared. Thus, should you stand accused of such a crime, having a detailed record showing the agreement on the use of such information between you and your accuser can help you in answering claims if misuse. 

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