Privacy and the Media

Kevin N.J. Macnish, Haleh Asgarinia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter, Macnish and Asgarinia introduce current thinking and debate around issues of privacy as these relate to the media. Starting with controversies over the definition of privacy, they consider what the content of privacy should be and why it is we consider privacy to be valuable. This latter includes the social implications of privacy and the only recently-recognised concept of group privacy, contrasting it with individual privacy, as well as legal implications arising through laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, concerning the collection of personal data and data subjects’ rights. Finally they turn to specific instances of privacy consideration in the media. These include:

The use of telephoto lenses to take pictures of celebrities at a distance without those celebrities’ permission (and the related question as to what is a reasonable expectation of privacy when in a public place);

Sharing information on social media (and the related question of whether those who share their data on social networking sites care about their privacy), as well as the availability of data online to research, even though that data has not always been posted for the purposes of research;

The challenges posed by anonymity online, including the trade-off between free expression and offensive expression;

Hacking and the meaning of fishing expeditions as a practice by the media and exploring what, if anything, is wrong with these;

The implications of invading the privacy of politicians, both as a defence of democracy and as a threat to democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Media Ethics
EditorsCarl Fox, Joe Saunders
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781003134749
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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