The right of every person to privacy and to his/her protected private domain is one of the most important rights available, and it has been duly protected in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. In addition to the Basic Law, the “Protection of Privacy Act” was enacted in Israel, which stipulates in detail the cases which are considered as an infringement on privacy. In other words, the law explains what are the things which should not be done another person. For example, it is forbidden to publish a person’s photos if the publication might humiliate him or her, it is forbidden to hand over to a third party information which we obliged to keep to ourselves and it is forbidden to publish any material which has to so with a person’s health condition or sexual history (there are, of course, further acts which constitutes an infringement on privacy).
Infringement of privacy can be caused by various factors, including governmental authorities and law enforcement agencies (Such as illegal search by the police, overly broad and unprotected databases etc.), by an employer (placing cameras in the workplace, email intrusion), by medical bodies (such as providing medical information to third parties without receiving the prior consent of the patient), by companies (transferring information from one financial company to another) and by private individuals (sending private photos/images without prior permission, for example).
One of the most widespread phenomena of recent years is the growing use of social networks such as Facebook or Instagram, and applications for sending instant messages (whatsapp, telegram, SMS). The extensive use of these communication channels/platforms has raised the “risk” of the privacy of each and every one of us being undermined. The enormous information each of us carries in his/her mobile phone, and the extensive use of the phone, endangers our privacy. In recent years we’ve witnessed the appearance and growth of the phenomenon where people distribute personal photos of others, sometimes pictures of a sexual character, in social networks and various applications. The way social networks work may result in the disseminated information reaching a huge number of people in a very short time.
A person filing a claim under the Protection of Privacy Act may demand compensation even without proof of damage, in the amount of up to NIS 60,000 (the compensation determined in the Act is NIS 50,000 with linkage to the CPI since 2007).
We believe that every person has the right to decide what kind of information about him/her should or should not be published. Our firm specializes in protecting people whose right to privacy has been violated – whether a private person or a corporative body had done so or the infringement was done by the authorities and/or law enforcement agencies.