The right to respect for private life pursuant to article 8 ECHR goes beyond the right to privacy. While the latter has been described as ‘the right to be left alone’, the right to private life extends to an individual’s social ties, his communication with others, social ties and personal development in general.
The European Court of Human Rights has held that private life is ‘a broad concept not susceptible to exhaustive definition’. Its underlying idea is autonomy. According to the Court’s jurisprudence, article 8 ECHR covers, inter alia, physical and psychological integrity, gender, sexual identity and sex life, reputation, personal data including one’s picture, the right to decide on one’s own death, certain aspects of one’s professional life and communication with others (in that respect, the Court has developed very detailed jurisprudence on phone interceptions and surveillance of communications).