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Invasion of Privacy Laws in Tennessee

With technological advances and the influx of cell phones and cameras, invasion of privacy law is an ever-growing legal area. Recently, an article in the NY Post, detailed allegations from a nanny who is suing her past employer for hiding a camera in her bathroom and filming her without consent. While this is an instance that is clearly an invasion of one’s privacy, there are many times when an incident can appear to be an invasion of one’s privacy, but when examined under the law, it does not amount to such.

If one is found to have intentionally and knowingly violated an individual’s privacy rights he/she can be criminally prosecuted and sued civilly for monetary damages.  According the Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-607:

39-13-607. Observation without consent.

(a)  It is an offense for a person to knowingly spy upon, observe or otherwise view an individual, when the individual is in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, if the viewing:

     (1)  Would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if the person knew the person was being viewed; and

     (2)  Was for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant.

(b)  It is not a defense to a violation of this section that the defendant was lawfully on the premises where the offense occurred.

(c)  If the person being viewed is a minor, this section is violated regardless of whether the minor or the minor's parent or guardian consented to the viewing.

(d)  A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

The above referenced TN law applies to what we most commonly see in privacy violation cases, wherein someone is filmed without their consent in a setting where there is an expectation of privacy. Other examples of an invasion of privacy can include eavesdropping, recoding or intercepting one’s phone calls, or photographing or videoing someone without their consent.  Most importantly, publicly disclosing private health information or records that subsequently causes harm is a clear invasion of privacy under healthcare laws.

To find an individual liable for monetary damages, your attorney must be able to prove that the invasion of privacy caused you harm. It is not enough if someone read through private information. That information must be used in such a way that it causes damages and harm in one form or another.

If you believe you have suffered harm due to an invasion of privacy matter, contact an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm to discuss your legal rights and options. Call 901-526-9494 to confidentially discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.  We will be happy to provide you with an honest assessment of your case to provide you with the knowledge required to possibly move forward with a claim.




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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 8:22 AM
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