Guidelines on safeguarding privacy in the media

20 June 2018
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© Shutterstock

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During a joint session held on 20 June, the Committee on Media and Information Society and the Consultative Committee of Convention 108 discussed and jointly approved ‘Guidelines on safeguarding privacy in the media’. Prepared in 2017 in the framework of the CoE/EU joint programme Partnership for Good Governance, these Guidelines are largely based on the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and aim to be an instrument of practical advice to journalists; they do not introduce new standards and will be open for feedback, updates and additions.

As to the structure, the Guidelines are divided into two parts. The first one deals with privacy issues in the exercise of core journalistic activities, while the second concerns the application of data protection principles in the context of journalism. The first part breaks down the basic notions involved in the balancing of freedom of expression and privacy, providing insight into what constitutes private life, what entails media freedom, and how consent is incorporated in the media work. It also illustrates the scope of public interest, especially in matters of personal concern, and presents the criteria involved in the Court’s balancing test. The second part sets out the rules to be complied with by journalists in the processing of personal data, be it in the context of editorial content or non-editorial content.

Link to the Guidelines

Following the decision of the Committee of Ministers on 16 March 2022 the Russian Federation is no longer a member of the Council of Europe. The website will be updated as soon as possible to take account of this development.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression"

Art. 10 European Convention on Human Rights


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