IPSO dismisses press release confidentiality complaint against Stoke Sentinel


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The press watchdog dismissed a reader’s privacy complaint after a regional daily published information about him that appeared in a press release.

The Independent Press Standards Organization has dismissed Kayleigh Brassington’s lawsuit against the Stoke-on-Trent daily, the Sentinel, after publishing its name, location, and the make and model of its car.

The information appeared in an article titled “Seven Passive Aggressive Or Downright Rude Notes Left On Vehicles In North Staffordshire Parking War” and reported that Ms Brassington had “posted her own angry note in response to her neighbor “in a dispute over a car alarm.

But she mistakenly believed The Sentinel had taken the reported information from her private social media account.

the note published by Mrs Brassington

Complaining under Article 2 (Confidentiality) of the Publishers’ Code of Conduct, Ms Brassington said the post regarding the post was from 2013 and that she had not consented to its content being used in a article, claiming that his original post had not been shared anywhere that he was aware of.

Denying a violation of the Code, The Sentinel explained that it appeared Ms Brassington entered a competition in 2018 and that entries for that competition were published in a press release.

Although it no longer has a copy of the press release, due to the time that has elapsed since its publication in 2018, the newspaper provided links to a number of articles that covered the press release. and included Ms Brassington’s name, the photograph of the note in her car and details of her social media post.

The information she claimed to be private was therefore publicly available from the press release and the resulting media coverage was published in 2018.

Additionally, The Sentinel said the story did not reveal any information that could be considered private.

Ms Brassington did not dispute that she entered this competition, but said she was unaware that her submission would be used in this manner, and further rejected an offer from The Sentinel to withdraw her name, region and photograph of history as a gesture. of good will.

IPSO discovered that the post had been in the public domain since 2018 after it was submitted to a competition, the organizers of which shared a press release containing the information.

In this case, it appeared that Ms Brassington had, albeit unconsciously, made this information into the public domain by entering a competition, and that the information she complained of was therefore widely available in the public domain over the years. last three years.

In these circumstances, the Committee did not find that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information about her in the story.

The complaint was not upheld and the full decision can be viewed here.

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