If the press or public authorities violate your privacy, lawyers can help put right the wrong you have suffered – and you don’t need to be a celebrity. In one case, a model whose confidential information was sold to a newspaper by a police officer has won damages and a public apology.
The woman’s legal team launched High Court proceedings for breach of confidence and misuse of private information after a story about her appeared in the Sun newspaper. The information on which the story was based had been sold to the newspaper by an officer of the Metropolitan Police.
She had discovered the source of the story five years after the event following an inquiry into relationships between the press and the police. She had suffered considerable shock and distress and felt humiliated to learn that an officer in a position of public responsibility had betrayed her.
In settlement of her claim, the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and the newspaper’s publishers each agreed to pay her damages and a contribution towards her legal costs. The Commissioner apologised and agreed that such a serious misuse of her personal information should never have happened. The details of the settlement were kept confidential.