9.1.08

PCC censures OK! for privacy breach



While OK! is busy suing Heat for infringing its copyright, it has fallen foul of the PCC code on privacy after identifying a woman (not unknown to the public) as having attended Alcoholics Anonymous with her male friend. Clause 3 of the PCC code sets out what editors should observe in relation to privacy and speculation based around pictures that invade the private sphere by discussing inherently private matters such as addiction and treatment for it.

The PCC was not impressed by OK!'s excuses - read full adjudication HERE and upheld the complaint.

Pictures and stories relating to celebrities and others attending alcoholics anonymous have been subject to extensive scrutiny and a less than satisfactory final judgment - in the case of Naomi Campbell and the Mirror. In short, you can expose someone as lying or deceiving the public but you can't intrude on or discuss the afflictions they may have without attracting complaint about privacy invasion - except if you're dealing with Britney Spears where the behaviours, afflictions and attendant coverage are already way off any self-regulatory scale.

More on Campbell v Mirror HERE and House of Lords judgment HERE

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