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Few years ago there was an interesting affair. There was an IT guy whose laptop was stolen. The owner used his IT skills to get pictures of the new owners of his laptop (not neccesarily thieves) remotely. The owner shared some of the pictures on his blog.

The new owners noticed it and sued him for invasion of privacy or something like that. They won and the original owner was forced to pay them for the damage done.

My question is, how could these ordinary people sue somebody for taking their pictures without permission, when there are tabloid journalists who do this every day to celebrities ? (And obviously they get away with it.)

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    Laws on this are by no means the same in every country. Even in the US they vary by state. Some US states do not recognize a right of privacy at all. Nor do all countries recognize one – David Siegel Feb 15 at 15:38
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    The laws about this matter vary vastly depending on jurisdiction. – Trish Feb 15 at 16:47
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how could these ordinary people sue somebody for taking their pictures without permission, when there are tabloid journalists who do this every day to celebrities ? (And obviously they get away with it.)

Tabloid journalists only get away with it when the pictures are taken in public, where there is no expectation of privacy. No permission is required in this case.

Conversely, the IT guy apparently took photos of the laptop users when they were at home etc. where privacy is pretty much expected and therefore permission is required.

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  • And IT guy does not get that special privilege enjoyed by cops, qualified immunity. – paulj Feb 16 at 15:32

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