There is no definitive list about the information concerning someone’s private life that can or cannot be published. This needs to be evaluated taking into account the specific circumstances in each particular case.


To evaluate whether the information published has unjustifiably intruded into someone’s private life, it is important to take into account the content, form and result of the publication. More specifically it is necessary to assess the:

  • level of intrusion into one’s private life
  • way in which the information concerning the private life of the individual was published
  • manner in which the person concerned was represented in the publication
  • extent of the dissemination
  • harm done to the individual as a result of the publication

example Publication of basic facts on certain details of the private life of a person, like facts from their biography, might be justified by the public interest. However, there need to be very serious reasons to justify the publication of particularly private and intimate information like pictures showing a person undergoing medical treatment in a hospital.

Publication of photographs

Although freedom of expression also extends to the publication of photographs, this is an area in which the protection of the rights and reputation of others takes particular importance.

Depending on the context in which they were taken and also the climate in which they are published, front page photographs revealing private details about a person may create a very strong sense of intrusion into their private life or even of persecution. Such intrusion could, for example, include the continuous harassment of celebrities by the tabloid press and the publication of pictures about their whereabouts just to satisfy the curiosity of readers.


Last updated 11/11/2018