I Spy: Addressing the Privacy Implications of Live Streaming Technology and the Current Inadequacies of the Law

Jackson, Kendall Elizabeth

This Note argues that live-streaming technology has implicated several important legal rights held by various parties, from the freedom of expression rights of the videographers/streamers themselves, to privacy rights of inadvertent participants in a third party’s live stream. Part I briefly discusses the types of streaming currently available, focusing on an explanation of live-streaming and the transition from archived content applications to live-streaming applications, and then moves on to examining the trajectory of the laws governing live-streaming technology. Additionally, Part I discusses parts of the body of both state and federal privacy laws which could apply to live-streaming. Part II of this Note applies the framework established in Part I to Facebook Live, comparing the live-streaming service to more traditional broadcasting, and discussing the rights and liabilities of live-streamers, those who may inadvertently find themselves included in a live stream, and select third parties. Part III discusses past solutions to privacy issues raised by media activities, and Part IV examines why the advent of social media live-streaming presents novel questions. Part V concludes this Note by discussing potential policy implications and asking the question: where do we go from here?


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Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

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April 20, 2018