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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 18:36 GMT
Q&A: Naomi Campbell case

A High Court ruling in favour of Naomi Campbell against the Mirror newspaper could have impact on future privacy actions.

The judge, Mr Justice Morland, said he was sympathetic to the supermodel's claim that the Mirror targeted her.

Where does this decision leave the boundaries of privacy?

It is a case of confidentiality rather than privacy.

The court heard that Naomi Campbell is a very public figure.

But the judge felt the confidentiality laws, which exist in a growing area of our law, were sufficient to rule that certain aspects of her life should remain out of the media spotlight.

Where is that line drawn and what should newspaper editors do?

Because of the relatively modest nature of the award, newspaper editors could still decide something should be in the public domain.

They may think that if they get it wrong the amount of damages is not likely to be very great - it is not like libel.

So if they get it wrong, they get it wrong.

It seems at odds with a recent decision over a footballer who had extra-marital affairs - the judge in that case said his name could be published?

That was an issue of privacy.

Although this case was presented as "the privacy case" - the first one to be heard by a judge - in fact it has become "the confidentiality case".

So will this mean new laws for privacy?

The courts have said that privacy, although interesting, is something they are not really prepared to look at because they can expand our existing confidentiality law.

That has happened in this case, which is why it is so important.

Is this case merely relevant for celebrities and famous people?

The existing law of Data Protection is also being used to ensure that not just celebrities - but ordinary members of the public - have greater protection for our true secrets.

See also:

12 Feb 02 | UK
Supermodel has 'no regrets'
02 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Naomi 'quits' top catwalks
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