Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The Expectation of Privacy
The recent publication of topless pictures of Princess Kate have launched a lot of comments regarding her advisability for not wearing her bikini top, whether her privacy was invaded, and whether the pictures should have been published.
They were. The photographer violated her privacy grossly, zeroing in on the couple by using a long distance lens. And the magazines, by publishing them, were complicit.
Probably she was too comfortable that the setting was private, and that she was beyond lens range. Not so, it turned out. Still, there is the generally accepted expectation of privacy that seems to have been violated. It's no different than if one of us elected to sunbathe nude in one's own yard behind an 8-foot high privacy fence.
So, we have a princess who made a bad call, a weasel of a photographer (my apologies to any weasels who might be offended), and some sleazy publications. But what's else?
Well, the readers of the publication and the internet users do have a place in this sorry story, too. If they feel that those pictures were obtained improperly, and that Princess Anne's privacy was violated, then they should not buy the magazine that published them ever or click on any internet links leading to the pictures. And if there's less of an audience for this sort of stuff, the value of the pictures like this diminishes and the paparazzi will need to find some other disreputable pursuit.
And, a special comment for the Brits: She's a Royal Princess. She might be your Queen someday! Do you really want people to look at your Queen semi-naked?
Tara Reid below seems to be spoofing the sense of privacy; or possibly ironically commenting on it being a forelorn hope. But this sense of privacy is real and important.