The protection of privacy and private information in the digital age: a comparative study of English and Thai law applying to individual media users

Suwannakit, Methinee (2023) The protection of privacy and private information in the digital age: a comparative study of English and Thai law applying to individual media users. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In the digital age, the media paradigm is changing. New technology and social media have become essential tools for individual media users to gather and disseminate information. Users’ content without the filter of traditional media outlets and editing processes may cause more harm to another’s privacy than traditional media. Despite the vast research on privacy invasions in the traditional media context, there is little analysis of whether privacy torts can offer an appropriate response to privacy concerns in light of the individual media users. This thesis therefore employs comparative law and doctrinal analysis to explore the suitability and sufficiency of English and Thai torts in protecting privacy and private information in this case. The multiple case study is constructed and categorised by a typology approach. Six categories of cases are subsequently established; privacy in a public place, the protection of private information and the nature of information, privacy and a public figure, social media as a medium of dissemination, privacy on social media and modern newsgathering and intrusions.

By using this mixed approach, the strengths and weaknesses of English and Thai law are identified. The key findings suggest that the English tort of misuse of private information (MOPI) has advantages for safeguarding privacy and private information over the Thai tort. Furthermore, it is feasible to solve repetitive problems of the Thai tort in privacy cases, such as the unclear scope of privacy rights and difficulties of the actual damage. Consequently, the tort of MOPI is proposed as a possible new legal model for Thailand. Recommendations for implementation by legislators are given. In this regard, some drawbacks of the English tort are also addressed. This new legal model could possibly enhance privacy protection while maintaining a proportionate balance with freedom of expression. Underlining the differences between freedom of expression and media freedom, the balance between an individual’s privacy and freedom of expression across new media is illustrated. The thesis provides an original comparative analysis of the English and Thai torts, contributing to law reform for Thailand. Moreover, it bridges privacy perceptions from the English and Thai jurisdictions, increasing the theoretical understanding of privacy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Margoni, Professor Thomas and Kretschmer, Professor Martin
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83454
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2023 16:03
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023 09:02
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83454

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