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Where should the line be drawn for celebrities' right to privacy?

24 January 2021 10:53 AM
Tags:
celebrities
the right to privacy

Sara-Jayne speaks to Maushami Chetty who is the CEO at Aarya Legal about the legal and ethical issues.

This week in the Talking Point on Weekend Breakfast, presenter Sara-Jayne King asks, to what extent should people in the public eye have a right to privacy?

The South African Editors forum (Sanef) this past week slammed media personality Somizi Mhlangu-Motaung after he posted to his 3.7 million followers on Instagram the telephone number of a journalist he claimed had invaded his privacy by messaging him to ask about rumours of his husband's infidelity and then later published, according to him a false article about the state of his marriage.

RELATED: Sorry not sorry? Somizi slammed for posting jouno's cell number on Instagram

Included in the post was a caption encouraging his followers to call the journalist in question so that, quote "she knows what it feels like to have your privacy invaded unprovoked".

The journalist did indeed receive calls, with some threatening her with rape and harm to her family.

Somizi later apologised for posting the telephone number, but not for what he said was sticking up for himself

To what extent should those in the public eye have a right to privacy? Who was in the wrong both ethically and legally?

Sara-Jayne talks to law expert, Maushami Chetty, CEO at Aarya Legal to find out where the lines should be drawn.

Our right to privacy is enshrined in the Constitution...which includes the right not to have your home searched, your property seized, the privacy of your communications infringed.

Maushami Chetty, CEO - Aarya Legal

But the right to privacy predates the Constitution, she notes.

We have a wealth of common law and case law on the right to privacy...which is still used to determine the extent of your privacy.

Maushami Chetty, CEO - Aarya Legal

She says tactics used by journalists in the past have been challenged legally through case law.

How was the information obtained? Was it done through clandestine measures, or was it done by asking the person? Certainly, one of the journalistic ethics issues is to check your sources to try and confirm your story, which I believe the journalist in question did try to do.

Maushami Chetty, CEO - Aarya Legal

Chetty says the real test for whether someone has a right to privacy for a particular piece of information has two components, a subjective part and an objective part.

1. Do you have a subjective expectation that you will have privacy regarding a particular piece of information?

2. Will society consider that objectively reasonable?

She says the subjective part deals with the legitimate expectation of privacy.

If you are a person in the public sphere, do you have an expectation of privacy if you have shared, for example, your marriage on Showmax?

Maushami Chetty, CEO - Aarya Legal

Listen to the interview below:




24 January 2021 10:53 AM
Tags:
celebrities
the right to privacy

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