Technology & Privacy Law Update: Peeple To Put Your Life On Display @BryanTukArtsLaw


Based on reports, once someone puts your name on Peeple, you will not be able to opt out, nor will you be able to delete bad or unfavorable reviews. With Peeple going live, we have a perfect storm: a decades-long decline in civility in general, coupled with our society’s penchant for litigation at the drop of a hat for any number of perceived wrongs, whether they are real or imaginary.  In this environment, what could possibly go wrong?
The answer is that we will see an avalanche of defamation claims filed, overwhelming the courts.
In Pennsylvania, the courts define defamation as a statement that “tends to blacken a person’s reputation or expose him to public hatred, contempt or ridicule or injury him in his business or profession.”  This was the rule as stated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Cosgrove Studio and Camera Shop, Inc. v. Pane (1962).  The trouble is that the standard is extremely subjective and results in very fact specific, very unpredictable litigation matters.
In addition, the courts treat defamation plaintiffs differently based on whether they are private citizens or public figures.  Examples of what  constitutes a “public figure” in this area of the law include: police officers, pro athletes, heads of major corporations, public high school educators and sports coaches, movie stars, union officials, judicial candidates, celebrities and school board directors among others.  Without going into too much detail, public figures generally get less protection from people’s commentary.  What may be defamation against a private citizen won’t necessarily be defamation against a public figure.
In New Jersey, the law is similar, but has slightly different aspects to it in terms of the types of damages that can be recovered.
In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the statute of limitations is one year.  In other words, you must file a claim within a year of the publishing of defamatory statements.
For more information, please email me at
Bryan Tuk is an attorney focused on business law, family law & nonprofits and arts organization law.  To learn more, visit and you can follow him on Twitter @BryanTukArtsLaw.