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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Confidentiality and Privacy

Confidentiality includes the official secrets act and test of confidentiality.

Privacy is a disputed territory between Article 8 and Article 10.

Article 8 - Right to respect of privacy, family life etc...
Article - Right to Freedom of speech/ Freedom of expression

Vile piece of legislation  - new law - cancels out the defence of public interest.

Confidentiality - Common law secrets = laws made by judges.

Revealing secret information to a journalists is a third party breach of confidence. You should protect your sources, even if it means going to court.

The Bill Goodwin case is a good example of protecting sources. It was a victory for Article 10 when he won.

Breach of Confidence Defined
A person is in breach of confidence if they pass on information which covers ALL of the following:
1. Has 'the necessary quality of confidence'. - ie: it must be important.
2. Was provided in 'circumstances imposing on obligation'. - when a reasonable person would think it would be kept a secret.
3. No permission to pass on the information
4. Detriment is likely to be caused to the person who gave the information.

A good example is if a GP revealed something that happened in their doctors surgery, this would be a breach of confidence.

It can be difficult to separate both confidentiality and privacy, however the Michael Douglas case is a good example that shows the differences.
During his wedding, pictures were taken by both guests and the press (intruders).
Guest pictures - Breach of confidence issue
Intruder pictures - Privacy issue

Implicit and explicit consent
It can be useful to get consent on camera if you are unsure about the person you are interviewing. This can be done simply by saying 'thanks for the interview' while filming.

Princess Caroline case(2004) - Expectation of privacy. Updated in February 2012, their was a ruling by the European Court of Human rights which said the papers should be able to publish stories and photographs of 'well known people'. Pictures of Princess Caroline were taken in a public place, therefore it didn't infringe her privacy rights under Article 8.

Max Mosley case - regarding the News of the World.

Public Interest

This includes, but is not confined to:-
- Detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety.
- Protecting public health and safety
- Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual organisation.

For example if a celebrity sold something based on an image that they are a family person, but the press reports something that suggest otherwise, then it is in the public interest (provided it is true).


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