In the United States, New Zealand and the Canadian province of Ontario, recognition has been afforded to privacy torts remedying intrusions upon seclusion or solitude, and the creation of such a tort has also been recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission. In England and Wales, recognition has so far only been afforded to a privacy tort remedying misuse of private information. This article considers the current prospects for the recognition of an intrusion upon seclusion tort within English law. It will be suggested that there is less necessity for such recognition following the apparent recent confirmation by the decisions in Gulati v MGN and Vidal-Hall v Google that misuse of private information claims may still be brought where there is no ensuing publication of wrongly acquired private information. Given that intrusions commonly result in the acquisition of private information, it will be suggested that many of the privacy interests protected by the intrusion torts in other jurisdictions may now therefore be protected in English law through a claim for misuse of private information.
John Hartshorne, The need for an intrusion upon seclusion privacy tort within English law, Common Law World Review. Article first published online: November 23, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473779517739798.