Friday, April 07, 2006

Photographs and privacy

Here is another press release about a photo published without the consent of the individual in the photo. According to the Press Complaints Commission, the photo was published in a newspaper article. I will not go into details of the case. The Press Complaints Commission has ruled, however, that the publication of a photo of the individual in his home without his consent was a breach of his privacy. It is interesting to note that the photo was taken in the complainant's home and not in public.
Although the Press Complaints Commission self-regulates the newspaper/magazine industry in the UK to ensure that they (newspapers/magazines) follow the codes of practice, we should not forget that there is the UK Data Protection Act 1998.
Some cases that came to mind (and may be of interest) are the decisions (by the House of Lords) in Campbell v MGN and the European Court of Human Rights in the Von Hannover v Germany. Both were concerned with the publication of details concerning the complainant's private lives. However, the European Court of Human Right's decision was far-reaching because it held that photos taken in public of public figures had to fulfil this condition: Pictures that were published in newspapers had to show that they were serving the 'public interest', there has to be some contribution towards a debate of general interest.
I could go on, but it would be more appropriate to have this written in an article. Food for thought!

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