Common law privacy rights

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State courts developed common law torts to protect against invasions of privacy:[1]

  • intrusion into someone's seclusion
  • public disclosure of private facts
  • publicity that places one in a false light
  • misappropriation of someone's name or likeness for commercial gain

Not all states accept all four torts. Minnesota does not accept any of these torts. New York accepts only the misappropriation tort.

See also


  1. These were based largely on an influential article on privacy by Warren and Brandeis in 1890.