Do public figures have a right to privacy?
Refilwe Moloto speaks to Emma Sadleir, social media law expert, and Megan Prosser, Senior Manager at Robert Walters Recruitment.
• Section 14 of the Constitution protects our right to privacy
• One must prove consent or that content is in the public interest to defend oneself in a privacy lawsuit
When footage of the world's youngest Prime Minister, Finland's Sanna Marin recently leaked, there was serious backlash.
In the video, Marin was seen partying and had to take a drug test in order to deal with accusations that she was under the influence. The test came back negative.
While some have criticised her behaviour, many others have pointed out the double standards applied when men in power are seen having a good time.
So as a public figure, does Marin have a right to privacy?
According to social media law expert, Emma Sadleir, the answer is yes. But, there's a hitch.
Once that content exists, it has the potential to be published. Whether or not we can exert a privacy right over that content sometimes is academic, because once it's out there, it's out there.Emma Sadleir, Social Media Law Expert
And before you think of suing, Sadleir says it may not have the intended consequences.
We can have this debate about has this person's privacy been infringed and rush off to court and get interdicts and get restraining orders, but often that has the net effect of adding fuel to the fire.Emma Sadleir, Social Media Law Expert
Sadleir says when it comes to public figures, their right to privacy is not absolute.
They (public figures) have an intrinsic lower right to privacy. How they live their lives has a bearing on the public.Emma Sadleir, Social Media Law Expert
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