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Category: Law
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I had a rather heated conversation with my neighbour which I

Customer Question

I had a rather heated conversation with my neighbour which I was unaware he was recording. He then shared that recording with other neighbours via email (which he copied me into) to provide them with some "sunday entertainment".
As far as I am concerned he has breached the privacy act and I want to seek legal advice over what I can do about it.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 month ago.

There isn't a privacy act in the UK. There never has been.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 month ago.

The myth of the right to privacy arose from the HRA which implied that the right to private and family life created one.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 month ago.

In fact that has been fairly heavily considered by the case law and it has crashed and burned. It is clear there is no free standing tort of breach of privacy in the UK and no real right arising from the HRA which, in any event, regulates Government actions not disputes between individuals.

The Data Protection Act does limit the way in which companies and public bodies can store information but it has no impact upon the conduct of individuals.

I'm afraid that one individual is perfectly free to record another if he chooses.

I'm very sorry if that is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I understand there is no law against recording conversations without prior consent but its what you do with it that can be unlawful - as far as I am aware the recordings can only be used for personal use, and cannot be used for any other purpose - this is where (I believe) my neighbour went wrong - he posted it to several other people for no other reason except to try and humiliate me (there was nothing I said to him that I am ashamed of!).
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 month ago.

I'm not for personal use.

A person is perfectly free to record and reveal it to who he likes.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 month ago.

He is perfectly free to post it if he chooses.

That is why people put videos on Youtube without consequence

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Unfortunately your responses are not quite in sync with advice I'm getting elsewhere i.e providing a private conversation to a 3rd party with no consent is an invasion of privacy in the civil law.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 month ago.

Ok. Good luck.

Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 month ago.

I have at this and agree with everything that my colleague says.

Here is an article on the same subject.

he didn’t record a private conversation you are having with someone else, he recorded a conversation that you are having with him.

By all means go to court on this but you have to consider how much it’s going to cost to get into court (there is no legal aid) and if you’re court action fails, you are going to have to pay the defendant’s legal costs which could easily amount to £10,000.

It’s not a course of action that I would recommend.

However there is a different way of looking at this and that is that if there is history between you and the neighbour and this is just one count of actions that he has undertaken, you may be able to refer it to the police as a complaint against the neighbour under the Protection from Harassment. Kind regards.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 month ago.
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