Emotional cost of privacy court challenges may be too high

Sean Plunket 19/09/2019

Victoria University’s privacy law expert Nicole Moreham tells Sean Plunket that recent coverage of cricketer Ben Stokes’ family history is not only unethical it may have breached legal rights to privacy.

Nicole explains that in the UK, where the story first appeared, and New Zealand, where it subsequently was picked up, both countries have “a reasonable expectation of privacy”.

Nicole further explains how a story like this, “where you’ve got a really vulnerable person suffering on the one hand, and very weak public interest in the other”, leads to a question as to why media outlets would publish.

Despite there being options for legal recourse Sean wonders whether the cost and inevitable publicity make such routes prohibitive.

The irony, Nicole explains, is that the wealthy and powerful have used privacy laws to suppress stories concerning tax evasion related to the Panama Papers from being published, despite the strong case for public interest in those cases.

You can listen to the full interview above.