Erin Andrews, Naked Videos, and Agency/Tort issues
I read with horror the story about how some deranged pervert videotaped ESPN’s Erin Andrews through a peephole in her hotel room. The video, which included shots of a naked Andrews, was then widely released on the internet.
Tech experts like Grimmelman can correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure you cannot un-ring the bell of releasing a video of a semi-nude Erin Andrews on the internet. Once a video like that is released, presumably other perverts will download it and save it locally, such that, even if the video is ultimately removed from the internet, it will likely still exist somewhere. Poor Ms. Andrews.
One of my first thoughts as an academic after reading about the situation was whether the hotel itself could face liability for allowing this to happen. If it was an employer who did the filming, does the hotel face liability? If a hotel employee “tipped” someone else about the fact that Andrews was in the hotel and gave Andrews’s hotel room number to someone else, who then booked the room adjoining that of Ms. Andrews’s in order to film her, would the hotel face liability? If the hotel does not have rules for employees regarding guest privacy, does that change that change the analysis?