Do celebrities have a right to privacy?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2008, 12:00am

Each week our two teenagers debate a hot topic. This week ...

Dennis Wu, 17, St Joseph's College

There are constant outcries and complaints from celebrities about not having enough privacy. I'm really put off by such comment.

Celebrities should not be entitled to the privacy enjoyed by the public because they are constantly in the spotlight and virtually everything they do is in the public domain.

It is perfectly reasonable for the press and the paparazzi to go after their personal lives. Public figures and movie stars trade their freedom and privacy for fame, adulation and the accompanying riches.

I'm not suggesting we all poke our noses into the lives of others. Nothing appalls me more than tabloid newspapers and I think those who are interested in every tiny detail about a celebrity should get a life of their own.

However, celebrities should expect their behaviour to be the focus of attention.

If they can't deal with the pressure they shouldn't have got into the business in the first place.

Celebrities enjoy great fame and recognition and what they do has an impact on society. The press scrutinises their behaviour to ensure that they don't do anything wrong.

Stars have things we wouldn't even dream of owning. I think it's only fair that they give up privacy in return.

Esther Pang, 16, Diocesan Girls' School

Stars have their private information on display for the world to see. Yet most of the time, snippets of their lives get distorted and repackaged by tabloids to generate sales.

Everything the rich and famous do is under scrutiny and if they happen to be caught appearing to do something slightly scandalous, it's on tomorrow's headlines. Why should celebrities be subject to such a shocking lack of privacy? Aren't they just humans with the same rights as other citizens?

Everyone has a basic right to privacy under the law, and that includes celebrities. They shouldn't have their personal and intimate details splattered across magazine pages every time they go out.

Celebrities may deliberately leak personal details to generate publicity, but that's their own choice. It doesn't justify spying.

Most celebrities should and do know what they're getting into when they choose their occupation. But that doesn't make it right to invade their lives and broadcast them to all.

Celebrities have every inch of their lives examined, talked about, and criticised. Some can't even order a meal at a restaurant without the paparazzi pointing their cameras.

We live in a society that's supposed to be governed by law and order. Everyone is entitled to protection under the law, even publicity-seeking celebrities.