The threat to press freedom from GDPR
Let’s be kind and assume that the intentions behind GDPR were good. Privacy is important, one of the issues of the internet age, for sure.
But powerful people, not all of them in the Royal Family are using the law to stifle legitimate reporting.
The fear of this type of action has already hit news desks.
Hacks tell me that stories that would have run pre-GDPR are suddenly ending up on the spike.
Typically, these stories involve the journalist obtaining private correspondence. The subjects of the story don’t say the correspondence isn’t accurate, they just say the newspaper should not have the documents.
(In the old days, the hack would say: tough. I’ve got them.)
The fear is not the usual libel action, since the story is obviously true, but a GDPR one.
There is very little legal precedent yet, so there’s no way of knowing which way any action would go..
I think it is really crucial to the hack trade what happens next.
The unintended consequences of GDPR are dangerous for press freedom.
And of course, if people can just GDPR their way out of any awkward media attention, they don’t need PR people either….
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