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SPLC media law presentation: Invasion of privacy


An overview of laws addressing invasion of privacy and their relation to journalism. Students will learn about the basic four types of Invasion of Privacy: Public Disclosure of Private and Embarrassing Facts; Intrusion; False Light; and Misappropriation. Students also will begin to apply these concepts to examples found in the slideshow.


  • Students will learn the basics of Invasion of Privacy.
  • Students will begin to apply these concepts to examples in the slideshow.
  • Students will learn the defenses to an Invasion of Privacy claim.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8 Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).


45-60 minutes


Slideshow: Privacy law

Slideshow with teacher notes

Handout: IOP student worksheet

Answer key: IOP student worksheet

Lesson step-by-step

1. List — 5 minutes

Tell students they have two minutes to think of all the types of information that are off limits. What kind of information about the world or others lives’ are they not necessarily allowed to know? (You could even give a prize for the person with the most correct answers.)

Spend the next two minutes putting the list on the board. Circle the items that related to common invasion of privacy issues in journalism. Explain to students we’re talking about the circled items on the board today.

2. Slideshow — 40 minutes

Go through the SPLC slideshow. Use the teacher notes as talking points for instruction. Some student worksheet questions are exclusively from the teacher notes section.

(Hand out student worksheet that students will complete during the slideshow.)

3. Revisit the list — 5 minutes

Revisit the list and see what you should alter based on the discussion. Students should take notes on this segment as well.