The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found TCN Channel Nine (Nine) breached privacy rules in a story on A Current Affair that included mobile phone footage of a dispute between neighbours.
An ACMA investigation found the story breached a participant’s privacy by including his name, part of his residential address and unobscured video footage of his face without his consent.
Under the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, broadcasters must not air personal information without consent unless it is in the public interest.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said broadcasters must respect the privacy of individuals included in news and current affairs reporting.
“Broadcasters may only disclose personal information without consent if it is relevant and proportional to the public interest,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“In this case our investigation found it wasn’t in the public interest for Nine to disclose the individual’s name and address because it wasn’t necessary to enable the audience to understand the overall issue.
“Even if material is already available in the public sphere, as some of this footage was, a licensee has an obligation to consider how broadcasting the material may further impact people’s privacy.”
As a result of the ACMA’s investigation the licensee will train staff in the privacy requirements of the code.