Privacy laws can be used by the rich + powerful to maintain secrecy over actions that may well be in the public interest to expose (though the red top approach that whatever the public is interested in is automatically in the public interest has commercial but not legal or ethical logic, and is clearly rejected by the Editors' Code, which limits the public interest defence to a few of its clauses).
Superinjunctions, to avoid even reporting on legal cases, such as that used by footballers Ryan Giggs and David Beckham (both rendered meaningless by widespread social media sharing) to try to hide news of affairs they have had, and in the Trafigura case to try and prevent The Guardian from reporting on pollution and the devestating social and health impact of this, are one level of this.
The most famous recent case, Max Moseley being reported as engaging in a Nazi-themed 'sex party' with escorts, with the Murdoch tabloids offering up free undercover video footage, was to found to lack any public interest in the courts - where the powerful are most likely to go, rather than PCC or IPSO. Injunctions seek to stop reporting before it happens (or the further repeating of already reported stories), the PCC/IPSO focus on POST-publication scrutiny (does an article breach the Editors' Code?).
Moseley's case is very well known, but he won damages at the high court for the breach of privacy. His position as a leader of autosports did not make his private antics a democratic issue! The reportage was simply to sell papers, not to make any meaningful contribution to public discourse.
The courts, especially with Tory government slashing of legal aid, are only really an option for the rich, however. The 2018 case of the Finsbury Park mosque leader who went to the courts AFTER going through the IPSO complaints process, and won £30,000 damages (libel, not privacy case) again indicates a higher level of protection available to those able to afford expensive legal fees.
****The newly announced IPSO arbitration scheme, which includes possible damages payments up to £60,000 and a capped complainant cost of just £100, is at the very least an attempt to address such concerns. See post.****
Moseley continues to get his revenge by funding Hacked Off and Impress.
The issue does often overlap with clauses on protecting children, notably the Toploader guitarist/celebrity wife case (Express, which had left the PCC...). Clause 6 is intended to specifically protect children's right to privacy, and IPSO's 1st ever case, raised as a 3rd part complaint by an MP (Sarah Wollaston) on the 'devil child' story (see http://mediareg.blogspot.lu/2017/05/ipso-children-rulings.html).
We have seen the rich and powerful protected by IPSO, as in the Harry on the beach case:
BUT - IPSO have also backed a member of the public in a case which led to calls for changes in the writing of the privacy and children's clauses (see Press Gazette article; IPSO said this was not necessary), to state that social media accounts should not be assumed to be public (their ruling here):
from IPSO's website, accurate on 14.5.18):