What Are the Effects of Invasion of Privacy?

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Privacy is a basic human need, and invasion of privacy can have serious psychological and emotional consequences, including paranoia, anxiety, depression and broken trust. Invasion of privacy is both a legal and an ethical issue.

The Free Dictionary defines invasion of privacy in a legal sense as an intrusion into the private life of an individual without sufficient reason. Legal ramifications of an invasion of privacy may include information about someone’s personal life being divulged by the media or another individual, especially if the leaked information results in a strain on the personal or professional life of the victim.

Psychology Today further clarifies the psychological ramifications of invasion of privacy. Adolescence is the phase in which people begin to develop a strong sense of privacy, and psychologists believe that allowing adolescents to create safe spaces of privacy where others are not allowed to enter without permission is crucial to helping them develop healthy boundaries later in life. Any invasion of privacy results in a violation of personal boundaries and a loss of trust, not only in the invader but often with the victim’s own ability to set up and maintain boundaries to protect their privacy. A person whose privacy has been invaded may feel unsafe and out of control in their own life.