Comparative Privacy and Defamation
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Comparative Privacy and Defamation

Edited by András Koltay and Paul Wragg

Providing comparative analysis that examines both Western and non-Western legal systems, this wide-ranging Handbook expands and enriches the existing privacy and defamation law literature and addresses the fundamental issues facing today’s scholars and practitioners. Comparative Privacy and Defamation provides insightful commentary on issues of theory and doctrine, including the challenges of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the impact of new technologies on the law.
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Chapter 8: Do we need to separate privacy and reputation? USA, Europe and Korea compared

Kyung Sin Park


The US distinguishes privacy and reputation. Prosser included ‘false light’ in the four-part analysis of privacy in 1960, but he warned that public disclosure of private facts is the only one befitting the normative project begun in the 1890 Warren–Brandeis article. Europe’s approach seems more complex. Privacy is often equated to a personality right that includes reputation, so often defamation law is used to guard against privacy infringements. Using Korea as a case study, this article evaluates the relative merits and demerits of the two approaches. The US privacy suffers terribly from the third party doctrine and needs a bit of incrementalism, but does not need the European monolith of personality right which smothers freedom of speech with unpredictable omnidirectional balancing – as we can see in the case of Korean truth defamation law, an illegitimate child of merger between privacy and reputation.

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