The Data Protection Bill making its way through Parliament in late 2017 could remove an exemption enjoyed by journalists under the current Act, meaning they can “process” sensitive information in breach of the normal rules, as long as it is for a story they believe is in the public interest. Read Roy Greenslade’s Guardian blog post on this here.
Note: this website may or may not carry updates as this bill progresses. Students should check if need be.
“Visual hackers” can steal private data simply by looking at a computer screen over the user’s shoulder, researchers found. Read more here and watch the animation.
Mirror Group Newspapers was told in June 2015 that it could not appeal against the highest damages ever awarded in privacy cases. Celebrities Sadie Frost, Paul Gascoigne and Shane Ritchie were among eight people subjected to prolonged phone hacking, Press Gazette reported. Read more
A Media Standards Trust report (March 2015) estimated that 5,500 people were hacked by the News of the World. Of 500+ cases analysed, 69% did not involve celebrities; about ten per cent of victims were caught up in tragedy.
A review of changes to media law in 2014 has been published by HoldTheFrontPage. It addresses defamation and the uncertainty over the public interest test, as well as data protection. Read more
Press Gazette launched a campaign to protect news sources after revelations that the police considered it legal to secretly obtain journalists’ phone records. It said it breached the right to freedom of expression, which included the right to protect sources (September 2014). Read more
Nick Davies, who exposed phone hacking, said police should have gone before a judge to justify examining a Sun journalist’s phone records. He said journalists targeted by public authorities should check whether their records had been snooped on. Read more
Police circumvented a law that protected journalists’ sources to secretly examine journalists’ phone records, using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Press Gazette, September 2014). Read more
Three whistleblowing officers were sacked as a result – despite escaping prosecution on public interest grounds. The Metropolitan Police defended the action. Read more
Liberty said unfettered use of the power was a worry for free speech. Read more