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Publishing Others' Information

Case suggests a church may be liable on the basis of invasion of privacy for publishing a "prayer list"

Key point 4-04. Many states recognize "invasion of privacy" as a basis for liability. Invasion of privacy may consist of any one or more of the following: (1) public disclosure of private facts; (2) use of another person's name or likeness; (3) placing someone in a "false light" in the public eye; or (4) intruding upon another's seclusion.

A federal district court in Virginia ruled that an insurance company that posted confidential medical records online without security restriction gave "unreasonable publicity" to, and "disclosure" of information about, patients' private lives.

This case suggests that a church may be liable on the basis of invasion of privacy to publishing a "prayer list" in a church bulletin, newsletter, website, or some other resource that contains the names and medical conditions of church members who are either ...

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  • June 29, 2015

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