Privacy and the public interest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Privacy laws are fundamental to protecting individual freedom and autonomy against the tyranny of the majority, and the social orthodoxy imposed through gossip. While it is widely recognized within academic debate that there are limits to freedom of expression, there is little debate about the limits to the right of privacy. We argue that the public interest is a limit to the right of privacy, mediating between the rights of expression and freedom and the flow of information. In doing so, it clarifies not only when invasions of privacy are morally justified, but when claims to privacy are morally unjustified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalEmpedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • privacy
  • public interest
  • freedom of expression
  • journalism ethics
  • gossip
  • contextual integrity

Cite this