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Home // Misuse of private information and breach of confidence

English law allows a person to express themselves in any way which is not criminal or a breach of an existing civil law obligation. The law concerning both freedom of expression and the right to privacy are largely developments of the common law developed largely from the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1999 (“the Act”), and the European Convention on Human Rights (“the ECHR”). Article 10 of the ECHR gives everyone the right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without State interference.

The Act also provides that everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and correspondence. This right is subject to proportionate and lawful restrictions.

The starting point in analysing any case of privacy is to determine whether the right of privacy is ‘engaged’.

In these circumstances, the test is shortly stated; does the person complaining have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy?’ A v B [2003] QB 195.

The next consideration is, does the claimants right to privacy exceed the defendant’s right to expression. This tension between the two rights is a difficult situation to judge.


The experienced lawyers at Nath solicitors have a thorough understanding of the law around privacy and confidentiality and can help with all issues regarding misuse of private information and breach of confidence. Our data protection solicitors in London are available to discuss your case today. Please call Nath Solicitors on 0203 983 8278 or contact us online.


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