Home > Children > Is it Ever OK to Violate Their Privacy?

Is it Ever OK to Violate Their Privacy?

By: Robin Mizell - Updated: 7 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Privacy Rights Privacy Protection Data

The Human Rights Act applies to children as well as adults. It gives children the right to due respect for their private and family lives, homes and correspondence and protects their privacy from unjustified interference by the government. For a public authority to violate a child’s privacy rights, there must be a compelling necessity in the interest of legitimate objectives and in accordance with law. In other words, there must be a legitimate need, such as national security, crime prevention, or ensuring the safety of persons or property. In addition to being able to identify and articulate the need, the public authority must also act in compliance with all applicable laws.

The interpretation of privacy law depends to a large degree on public sentiment. As society’s values evolve, so do the courts’ interpretations of privacy rights.

Confidentiality Rights

The law applicable to confidentiality is a form of privacy protection that extends to children. A child’s right to protection of confidential information is balanced with others’ rights to freedom of expression and with the public’s right to know. The courts recognise a breach of confidence as the violation of an explicit or implicit duty to keep information of a confidential nature from being improperly disclosed. A case involving a breach of confidence may entail a request for a court order, as when a celebrity seeks an injunction to prevent the publication of embarrassing photographs. The cost of such cases can make this avenue of legal recourse unavailable to all but the wealthiest individuals.

It’s not illegal to record a telephone call or personal conversation to which you are a party, even when the other party to the conversation doesn’t know you’re making the recording. However, if the call or conversation was confidential in nature, and there’s no counterbalancing need to reveal it, such as the public’s legitimate interest in what was discussed, then you may not be able to use the recording as you had hoped. You cannot automatically provide the recording to a third party without the consent of the other person you recorded, except in certain circumstances prescribed by law. One example would be in order to prevent a crime from occurring.

Surveillance photographs and video recordings obtained by intrusive methods also can be suppressed by the courts, if they constitute a breach of confidence.

Restrictions on Children’s Rights

The Child Act defines parents’ responsibilities in relation to their children’s legal rights. The act specifies what is meant by the term “parent.” It accords the designation of “parent” automatically to mothers but to others only in certain circumstances or with specific limitations.

A child’s parent has the right to act in the child’s best interests. Therefore, if a parent can effectively argue that violating a child’s privacy or breaching confidentiality is in the interest of the child’s welfare, then the privacy violation might be permissible.

The courts also consider whether a child has the mental ability to responsibly invoke his or her right to privacy. Naturally, the younger the child, the less likely it is for the court to consider a parent’s actions to be a violation of the child’s privacy rights.

If necessary, the courts balance the conflicting interests of parent and child while taking into account the child’s welfare above all.

More information about important issues related to privacy and data protection can be found in the article Installing Bugs and Cameras.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Lucifer
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I wanna join you, , , iam a killing machine and willing to die in the battle field
    28 June 2020
  • Apola
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I certainly thought this would have at least any older people to leave a comment, but all I see is preteens being desperate to be an agent. Just…
    23 May 2020
  • riama
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I'm a 12 year old girl and have always been interested in joining SIS/MI6. I would like to find out what the GCSE requirements are so I can work…
    29 April 2020
  • Blinkers
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Joined the Cyprus army at the age of 18, i may bot be the smartest person in the room but my i can be very street smart. i feel like i could be at…
    24 April 2020
  • Dead
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I want to join MI6 please fams, don't have ID though.. Immortal on a good day, 5ft 500pounds speaks dog language, i have some people ide like to…
    4 February 2020
  • Fruits
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi im a 12 year old girl and i am really interested in MI6, Ive always wanted to join and be a spy doing secret missions.The thing that inspired me…
    27 December 2019
  • TomCallan
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Y’all aren’t the most perceptive people are you? First things first, you need to be at least 17 and a half to apply and have full British…
    22 September 2019
  • healer
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi Im healer and please take me I will do all the missions and I will always follow the orders please take me Thank you!
    11 August 2019
  • Black Mafia
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I'm 13 I live in Nigeria I've lived in the US and I want to join the MI6 so madly I spy on little people please give me the opportunity to work…
    10 August 2019
  • Gonaburst
    Re: How to Join MI6
    So i am a 12 year old girl and i really want to become part of the MI6 any time soon probably at the age of 14 however i dont know how to sigh up…
    2 July 2019