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Privacy posturing, part I

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Privacy posturing, part I

In case you missed it, the Daily Star front-page headline today: Publicity-shy Woman Tells 7.67 billion people: I’m pregnant.

It’s funny, of course. In fact, the Star is slapping The Sun all over the place on this stuff lately.

The headline is a reference to Megan Markle’s victory last week against the Mail on Sunday after a two-year battle.

The judge ruled fairly comprehensively that the paper was wrong to publish a “personal and private” letter to her estranged father.

I’m inclined to agree with the judge, as is former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who argues that privacy is a human right which extends to pompous princesses and shagging footballers, however annoying that might be for tabloid editors.

M’learned colleagues tell me I’m on the wrong side here, indeed that I have gone soft.

They point to the growing regularity with which lawyers use privacy laws to block the publication of news that is plainly in the public interest.

An example: A reporter is leaked an internal email which reveals that a top fund manager is up to no good with other people’s money.

It is cracking tale, but it is only every going to appear in the City pages. The fund manager’s lawyers say the paper has received, perhaps stolen, private correspondence.

The paper’s lawyers tell the editor that if he publishes, he will get a privacy complaint that they don’t know if they can successfully defend or not. The Markle case is the most recent precedent.

The editor thinks it isn’t worth the risk for a City story. The fund manager gets away with it.

The trouble is that since GDPR there isn’t enough case law for newspapers to measure risk, and such as there is seems to fall on the side of the rich and the powerful.

Someone needs to pick a fight here. We’re looking at you, The Guardian

More on this tomorrow.

Press release of the day

Global stocks are up for 11 days running, notes this from Sun Global Investments.

Is this just a vaccine play? What else is going on?

We could do with some more, detailed analysis here and some historical comparisons/context.


Privacy posturing, part II

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The problem with (some of) the PR trade


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