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Protecting Privacy at Sea

Author: Guest author / Source: Superyacht News

Data Privacy and Dispute Resolution expert Ali Vaziri advises owners how to achieve ultimate privacy on board.

Tiger Wood’s decision to name his 154ft superyacht Privacy reflects the aspirations both of owners and guests who want use those vessels to escape from intrusions which plague them on land. So what is to be done when those intrusions follow them to their mooring, or out to sea?

If it’s effective and at your disposal, it is not hard to see the appeal of technology such as the anti-paparazzi shield reportedly installed on Roman Abramovich’s 557ft Eclipse. But privacy protection is rarely achieved through technology alone. Organisational measures such as ensuring staff reliability and suitably drafted contracts are just as important.

Yet no matter how much care is taken, it’s impossible to plan for every contingency. So, when things go wrong, as they inevitably do at some point if you or any of your guests have any media profile, knowing some of the protections that English law provides to preserve your privacy and that of your guests will empower you to ensure that it isn’t sold to the highest media bidder.

The Princess vs The Press

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence. The Convention has influenced the development of English privacy law as well as the media’s own self-regulatory code to which many, though not all, UK publishers subscribe – including some notorious offenders.

Yachts are commonly treated as a home away from home; a sanctuary where both hair and guards are let down in the company of loved ones or friends. So those aboard are invariably surprised and angered when, for example, images appear of them engaging in activities such as undressing, swimming, showering, towelling down, socialising, and applying sun tan lotion to a partner’s shoulders.

Last year, Princess Beatrice was photographed using a long lens…

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