Home / Opinion / Torts — invasion of privacy — misappropriation

Torts — invasion of privacy — misappropriation

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Torts — invasion of privacy — misappropriation

A person cannot sue a search engine over the results that are produced when she enters her name.        “Court documents, including Stayart’s complaint and the district court’s 2011 order dismissing that complaint, are matters of public interest. Cf. In re Cont’l Ill. Sec. Litig., 732 F.2d 1302, 1314 (7th Cir. 1984) (The public has an interest in the fairness of courts and judges, and the public has a right of access, “guaranteed by the first amendment, to information before the court relating to matters of public interest.”). It follows that if court documents warrant the public interest exception, the search providers and indexes that lead the public to those documents or that capture key terms related to them are likewise entitled to that exception. To the extent that Stayart has or would argue that Google’s profit motives undermine the reliance on the public interest argument, the exception applies even when the entities sharing the information do so “largely, and even primarily, to make a profit.” Davis v. High Soc’y Magazine, 457 N.Y.S.2d 308, 313 (App. Div. 1982).”


11-3012 Stayart v. Google, Inc.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Adelman, J., Williams, J.

Leave a Comment