While individuals face threats like subscriber frauds and phone insurance frauds which are pecuniary in nature, celebrities face something worse. Their personal lives are invaded by the Press and are constantly susceptible to public scrutiny. After all, the media seems to spare no efforts in invading their privacy by using Private Investigators and cybercriminals to do their bidding. However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had enough and no longer wish to be victimized by the media.
While the petition filed by Prince Harry is definitely going to be a historical move, there have been other hacking incidents that have rocked the UK‘s media houses. In 2011, News of the World, a subsidiary of the News Corporation found itself between the devil and the deep blue sea, due to its telephone hacking approach. In fact, the Editorial admitted this in its last edition and had to shut down post the Leveson Enquiry, which was initiated by Prime Minister David Cameroon. This resulted in a loss of around £240 million to the News Corporation.
Later, in February 2012, The News of the World was replaced by The Sun, which seems to be heading towards a similar fate. Until now, the Sun has paid close to £400 million and the Mirror has paid around £75 million to settle phone-hacking cases. As a matter of fact, the phone-hacking case between Sir Elton John and The Sun was settled just days before it could be heard in the court. Some other noteworthy victims of the phone-hacking cases include Lord Archer, Actor Joe Swash, Sportsperson Kevin Keegan, Actress Sadie Frost, and several others.
Privacy Laws in the UK
Although the British Laws claim to protect the privacy of its citizens, the fact that the Royal family’s privacy has been invaded several times makes its effectiveness, questionable. In the UK, Privacy laws are a part of Human Rights and are enshrined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the Data Protection Act, and several others. Article 8 of the Human Rights Act clearly includes the Right to Private and Family Life, home and correspondence, all of which the media has repeatedly disregarded.
Not very long ago, the Duke of Sussex received a hefty sum along with a formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency. Splash had earlier used a helicopter to take pictures of the Duke and Duchess at their new residence, the Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, and was sued by Prince Harry for their wrongful act. However, this time the Sun and the Daily Mirror may not get away with their antics. It may be recollected that almost seven years ago, Prince William made a similar move against the French Media house for publishing topless pictures of his wife and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Back then, the royal couple were vacationing in Provence but were apparently followed by snoopy paparazzi.