The article first investigates the origins of the right to privacy, its principles and scope as well as limitations, focusing on the issue of public officials. In the case of public officials the invasion of the right to privacy is virtually unlimited if exercised by the mass media (i.e. the public), yet is somewhat curtailed if exercised by the government. Underneath the reasoning seems to lie the functional test of the right of the public to know and the rationality and reasonableness of the government to prescribe. There seems to be no time limitation to this rule. As to the issue of who is a public official the definition seems to be rather broad and enshrines practically all individuals in public service, in other words those paid by the taxpayers. Less known are however certain limitations of the right to invade privacy of public officials. The government always has to have narrow, reasonable and rational grounds to invade privacy, well provided for by statutes. Protected seems to be also something that comes close to a property right or if basic moral values are jeopardised. However, moral standards change in time. It is always the wisdom of the courts to determine the scope of the right to privacy of public officials, weighing the issue with the paramount right of the public to be informed. The dicta and the holdings of US courts are certainly of relevance for European legislatures, especially in CEECs.