Joan Bakewell explores the art of diary writing by public figures and private individuals
'NAOMI: I AM A DRUG ADDICT', 'MINISTER CONFESSES GAY FLING TO BLAIR', or more enticing 'TV JAMIE BONDAGE BROTHEL SHAME' While tabloid news is never free from headlines of this genre, is it unfair to fulfil the reader's curiosity and satisfy prurient taste by the commercial exploitation of public figures private lives? Or is there a greater public benefit in revealing such information? There is no universal answer to these questions which fuelled the debate, particularly following the Human Rights Act 1998, on the merits of free speech weighted against the right to personal privacy. While a law of privacy is long overdue in the UK, judges have actively construed common law principles of confidence, trust and contract to decide privacy claims. Long over a century ago, Prince Albert was successful in preventing a publisher from reproducing etchings made for the Queen's pleasure on the basis of an implied relationship of confidence. 1 Since the coming into effect of the Human Rights Act 1998, the United Kingdom is under a positive obligation to ensure the comprehensive protection of privacy under Article 8. At the same time, Article 10 entitles the media to probe and publish without restraint. Both these rights are qualified and neither has precedence over the other.2 Privacy protects individuals' dignity and preserves their personality and well-being. Privacy is a key to self autonomy and independence; it is an essential ingredient in the process of human flourishing.
Photographer Alison Jackson, whose work explores the cult of celebrity, joins Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero and discusses her portfolio in which she uses lookalikes portraying public figures in private settings. Photo:
Public Figures and Privacy by Morgan Nash on Prezi
Do Public Figures have Privacy Rights?