There are various causes of action under what is commonly referred to as invasion of privacy. The first, false light invasion of privacy, occurs when information is published about a person that is false. Although similar to defamation, it is different because particular statement need not be defamatory but instead embellished, distort, or otherwise alter information in such a way that it amounts to a false light invasion of privacy.
The second kind of invasion of privacy amounts to misappropriation of the name or likeness of another for commercial purposes. An individual may be entitled to compensation if a third party uses his name or likeness in a commercial way without consent.
Finally, the right of publicity allows celebrities to file a lawsuit and recover damages where their name or likeness has been commercially exploited without their consent. The most famous case dealing with right of publicity is currently ongoing, namely in re; NCAA Student- Athlete Name and Licensing Litigation, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 10-15387. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Electronic Arts, a video game provider, use of athlete's likeness i its NCAA football and basketball games does not deserve free expression under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Therefore, celebrities and athletes can rely upon this decision in an effort to seek compensation for violation to their right of publicity.
If you believe you've had your privacy invaded, you would be well served to speak with an internet attorney. Put simply, an internet attorney can advise you whether or not you can successfully be able to establish the three elements required in order to hold someone liable for an unauthorized name or likeness. The first, use of a protected attribute, requires that the plaintiff show the defendant used some aspect of your identity that is protected by law, such as your name, likeness, signature, photograph, or otherwise. Second, that use was for a commercial purpose in such a way that they exploited your name and likeness for profit. Finally, you must establish that you did not give permission for the unauthorized use. So, if you are an individual who may have a claim for misappropriation of name and likeness, or a celebrity including an athlete, actor, actress, or other celebrity, please seek the advice of an internet attorney to determine whether you have a claim of right of publicity.