In this regard, even the ECHR have not adopted a clear and stand-alone definition of the “private life” ((E.B. v. France [GC], § 47; Niemietz v. Germany, § 29; Pretty v. the United Kingdom, § 61; Peck v. the United Kingdom, § 57), but, on the other hand, it has taken into account all of the influencing factors, issuing decisions on matters relating to the protection of one’s private life and its derivatives (article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights), simultaneously leaving an “open door” with regard to its interpretation, so as to not limit the possibilities of adaptation, depending on issues that may occur in the future.
Bearing in mind what was mentioned above with regard to the meaning of the term “private life”, we must then analyze what could fall under it, in order to better understand the limitations when one demands compliance with his/her right to a private life.
Thus, we can say that physical, psychological or moral integrity is a genuine right that falls under the scope of the protection of one’s private life. Considering this, we can say that this is the normal way, but, everyday and all around the world, we see these exact rights being violated. Nonetheless, the general and prevailing solutions are for compliance with one’s right for integrity, even though, being the era of social media, more and more acts contrary to this statement are being shown. We need not linger on these though, as the tendency nowadays is to show the bad in spite of the good and bad news always travels faster than good ones. Even though this is the case, more and more laws are being adopted by different countries that focus on this exact matter, expanding the area of protection when referring to physical or moral integrity as one’s right to a private life. A question can be asked though, where does these rights draw a limit? Because, one person’s right to moral integrity by allowing him to express his own beliefs can, at the same time, represent an infringement on another person’s right to his beliefs. A possible and, at this time, fair solution, is to analyze all of these situations subjectively, by competent people, and issue a judgement based solely on the respective case’s facts and on the general applicable principles, so as to not intervene in other disputes which can, on a first glance, appear very similar but, after a further consideration, become entirely different.
After the last paragraph we saw that the right to moral integrity includes the right to one’s own beliefs. Thus, we can affirm that, alongside the right to physical and moral integrity, when speaking about the protection of private life, we can take into consideration many other rights. This being the case, we can say that everyone has the right to live privately, the right to have his own identity, to be distinguished from others, the right to have a reputation, to pursue a desired professional career and so on. A possible list of all of the rights that fall under the scope of the term “private life” cannot really be compiled, as when presenting a right, we can easily see another two-three, or maybe more rights that derive from that one. And this is the situation when addressing most of the rights which encompass the right to a private life.
Now, as a final mention of such a right, given the fact that it has seen a great development in recent years, is the right of protection of one’s personal data. With the fast-developing situation of social media and hi-tech electronic devices, there has been a general and important concern regarding one’s personal data, respectively what is being done with that personal data and how is it protected, bearing in mind also the general scope of this article, the protection of a person’s private life. The EU have made great progress with the adoption of EU Regulation no. 2016/679 (GDPR) and the Member States have, consequently, began to implement it in their own legislative systems. This is a big step in establishing certain rules when working with a person’s personal data, which comes in the aid of the protection of one’s private life, as set out in article 8 of the Convention.
To conclude with, we can observe that the notion of “private life” is a broad one, as we can see from the ECHR’s case law and other acts that are adopted with the purpose of regulating certain rights that fall into the sphere of “private life”. This leads us to believe that this matter is in line with the fast-growing pace of evolution of many domains which, inherently, affects one’s right to a private life.