No Facebook privacy from media

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Users offered no safety from Facebook-trawling.

Australia’s communications regulator has ruled that television networks are not breaking the industry’s code of practice when publishing photos lifted from a public Facebook profile.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) determined that Channel Seven did not breach the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice when it accessed and broadcasted photographs – specifically in the case of a deceased person lifted from a Facebook tribute page, and another which broadcasted the name, photograph and comments penned by a 14-year old boy.

The decision will have broad ramifications for the media industry, and will put greater pressure on Australia's new federal Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, to address online privacy directly in law.

“The ACMA found that due to the open nature of the tribute page, the absence of privacy settings and the non-sensitive nature of the photographs, Seven did not breach the privacy provisions of the code,” the ACMA noted in a press statement.

Remember to sign up to our daily newsletter to stay connected with the latest news and analysis from Australia and around the world.

That said, the ACMA said it was not open slather for journalists to rip materials from social networks.

The regulator has already established guidelines around the exploitation of children, teens and Australians with special needs, and is establishing its own privacy guidelines in tandem with the Attorney-General.

Channel Seven would have breached the code had the report disclosed sensitive information concerning the health or welfare of the child, or if it reported on a criminal matter involving his immediate family.

The ACMA was begrudgingly unable to guarantee that users marking content as “private” on a social network could be safe guarded from broadcasters and publishers making it public, at least under the industry code of practice.

“The ACMA made it clear that while it considers the use of privacy settings an important consideration when assessing material obtained from social networking sites, the actual settings are not determinative,” the regulator noted.

Instead, the regulator will determine matters taken before it on a case-by-case basis.

“In each case, the ACMA will assess a licensee’s compliance with its privacy code obligations having regard to the specific circumstances of the broadcast.”

Consultant Roger Clarke, currently chair of the Australian Privacy Federation, told iTnews that he personally felt the decision was "typical of the failure of regulators to take meaningful action".

"The breaches have been completely tolerated, without chastisement, without the extraction of meaningful undertakings, without any penalties being imposed, and without even any 'suspended sentence' approach being adopted," he said.

"It appeared for a while that the current [guideline] review might result in improvements, but there remain some serious problems with their proposal amendments, which we're in ongoing discussions with them about.

"The behaviour of both the Privacy Commissioner and the ACMA is such that you have to conclude that they see their role as being to protect the interests of corporations, not privacy."

The ACMA’s CyberSmart web site advises that “even if your profile is private, you can’t control what your friends do with the information you post".

"Don’t post photos or information that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see," it states.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


No Facebook privacy from media
 
 
 
Top Stories
Myer CIO named retailer's new chief executive
Richard Umbers to lead data-driven retail strategy.
 
Empty terminals and mountains of data
Qantas CIO Luc Hennekens says no-one is safe from digital disruption.
 
BoQ takes $10m hit on Salesforce CRM
Regulatory hurdles end cloud pilot.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
The 2015 Xero Roadshow is on: here are the locations and dates
Feb 6, 2015
The 2015 Xero Roadshow kicked off this week - see where you can attend at locations around ...
Microsoft Outlook is now on iPhone and iPad: why could this be useful?
Jan 30, 2015
Microsoft today released Office for Android and Outlook for iOS - complementing the other Office ...
Franchisees, here's something you should know about
Jan 23, 2015
You need to know the Code if you are a franchisee or franchisor as the penalties are significant.
Xero users rejoice! Quoting has finally arrived
Jan 23, 2015
It has taken years, but Xero has at last added integrated quoting to its online accounting software.
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  35%
 
Your insurance company
  5%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  9%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  4%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  18%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  7%
TOTAL VOTES: 4067

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?

   |   View results
I support shutting down the OAIC.
  27%
 
I DON'T support shutting the OAIC.
  73%
TOTAL VOTES: 1390

Vote