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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20073
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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Hello, I recently left personal belongings

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Hello, I recently left personal belongings which included personal diary and camera with nude pics of myself on an airplane arriving from a south asian country to the United States. I am still in college. The personal diary has very sensitive information including my experiences being in political activities and certain remarks that could be construed as racist, that could damage my professional reputation. What should I do to protect myself? What is the worst to expect and what is most realistic to expect? I am very worried about being slandered on the internet and having these pictures and diary entries published.


Thank you for the information and your question. Have you contacted the airline to try to get your property back? If so, what have they told you? Was your name in the diary? Was there anything in the diary where you threaten any sort of violence against anyone or a particular minority? Do any of the photos on your camera depict minor's without their clothes on? What do you mean your "professional reputation," didn't you state that you are in college? Do you mean at some point in the future?

Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have contacted the airline to get my property back but their offices were closed at the time. My name is XXXXX XXXXX the diary. My concern is that there are names, numbers and addresses of family members and other people in the diary, as well as locations that I have been to which may connect to me. There is no threat of violence against anyone or any minority. The content I am concerned about is commentary on sexual preferences toward certain races, and the questioning of certain political beliefs. None of the pictures depict minors. Thank you for the correction. I am in college and so I do actually mean at "some point in the future."

Hello again and thank you for your reply. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you, I was out of my office for a short while. Based solely on what you have told me, there is nothing in your diary or photos which is illegal in any way. So, you have no legal exposure there. That leaves the slim chance that someone will post either the contents of your diary, or your photos on the internet. Hopefully, it won't come to that and honestly, that would be a fairly unusual result. Chances are that someone will try to get the property back to you. You should definitely continue to contact the airline through their customer service numbers to see if they have received your items.

If someone does post this information on the internet, then you could contact the forum where it is posted through your attorney and threaten them with suit for invasion of privacy if they do not remove the items. Otherwise, there isn't a slander issue, since slander and libel are "false" statements of fact that damage the reputation of the person they are about. There isn't likely to be any false statements in any sort of publication of these items.

At this point though, I would keep trying to track down your property but not be too concerned with any publication issues. Of course, if you do find out they have been put online, you should consult a local attorney at that time to help you get it removed.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the response and the delay is no problem.

I apologize if my communication is not easy to interpret. I am doing the best to be as precise and clear as possible.


I am concerned that this diary and camera gets into the hands of the wrong person who may keep it and wish to sabotage me with at some time in the future. Would the leakage of its contents either to a spouse, family members, to the public, future employers or clients affect me significantly or my prospects for business and my business reputation? In what ways? Assuming that this would be possible, what could I do to protect myself from the ramifications if such a thing were to occur? For instance, that a person would attempt to contact any of the names, numbers, and addresses in the diary and send its pages as well as email the pictures in my camera and then trace back its contents as well as the pictures in the camera to me?


I am concerned that there are family numbers and addresses on the notebook. Is it unrealistic or realistic to assume that someone would read the contents of my notebook and contact my family members. The content of the notebook is true and is my writing, and the pictures in my camera are of me but there is information in there and pictures that I do not want to be seen. Especially the writings in the notebook, which are controversial and that should be kept private. If these are published, I'm concerned that there is a likelihood that the writings written could be connected to me. What types of action can I take and what types of action should I take to secure that anything written in the diary is not connected to me?

Hello again and thank you for your reply. Unfortunately this is out there and unless you continue to actively try to track it down with your efforts through the airline and retrieve it, there are no guarantees. In my initial answer though I discussed the possibilities and the likelihood of a public release and what you could do about it. As for someone being contacted whose name and address is in the book, well that is very likely if someone other than the airline found this and your name and address isn't in the diary. If a good Samaritan wants to get this back to you, wouldn't you expect them to try through the contacts in the book? I would. That said, I can't predict what someone is going to do but I do think that you are probably concerned about a probability that is low and also that you cannot avoid, unless as I mentioned, you keep actively pursuing this through the airline.

There is nothing you can do in advance to stop this from getting into the wrong hands, absent an effort to track it down. Once it is out there, if ever, then you have to react based on common sense and what has actually occurred. As I mentioned, if online, it could be an invasion of privacy issue and you would want to speak to an attorney. Otherwise, you will have to deal with your friends, or whoever, might gain access to the diary and be offended on an interpersonal level. It really wouldn't be a legal issue in that case.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Marsha. That response has helped put this problem into perspective even further. Frankly, I will be starting up a business within the next 3-5 years, and am afraid that information included in the diary and pictures in the camera could damage my professional reputation and credibility if it is leaked thus alienating me from prospective clients. This is not just an interpersonal issue in my eyes. Could you point me towards a solution to this problem further? Is there a way to protect myself if this information is leaked and-- although there is a small likelihood of it occurring-- what actions would be taken if the holders of the information were to create a cyberbullying campaign or similar attack against me, or my business brand and reputation at some point in the future?

I mentioned what recourse is available to you in my previous responses. If there is a site that the information is placed on, then you simply contact the site and advise them that they must remove the information or you will file suit for invasion of privacy. You will want to get an attorney at that time to deal with both the site that might contain the information, but also the individual that posts it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In conclusion, what I have gathered as solutions are that legally I have only one option which is to file suit against a hosting site and the individual posting. If there are people who are offended I must deal with them privately.


Thank you.

Yes, that is correct. Hopefully it won't ever come to that and again you have some chance here if you actively pursue this right now with the airline to get your items back. Then the rest of you concerns won't be an issue. Best of luck to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay. I'm satisfied with this service. Take care.

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