Invasions of privacy can affect anyone living in Texas - not only celebrities. The increased popularity of the internet and social media networking has made it easier for people to publish unwanted information about others without their permission. There are three types of claims that individuals can sue for when their privacy is invaded.
Texas observes three types of invasion of privacy claims. The first type is misappropriation, or the misrepresentation of a person's name or likeness. This involves using another person's name, likeness or personal characteristics without his or her permission and usually exploiting it for financial gain. An example is a retail store that uses a local celebrity's name, without his or her permission, in their commercials to sell their products.
Unlawful publicity is the disclosure of private facts about a person in a public setting. These facts are often offensive and damaging to the person's reputation. An example is the unpermitted publication of a person's nude photos or private texts written to a close friend or family member on a social media page.
Intrusion on seclusion
Intrusion on seclusion is the unwanted invasion of a person's privacy that is highly offensive. The intrusion must be "unjustified, unreasonable and/or unwarranted." An example is taking pictures of a person's house and publishing them on social media with threatening messages. Another example is setting up camera equipment on a person's lawn without his or her permission.
Suing for invasion of privacy
The Texas Supreme Court states that every resident has a natural right to privacy. If a breach of this right occurs, a person can take action in court and possibly sue for compensatory or punitive damages. Any one of those three claims could be used to obtain monetary relief or an injunction against the defendant.