European Data Protection Digest

PCC: Social Network Posts Were Not Private

ONLINE PRIVACY—UK

February 11, 2011

The Telegraph explores the issue of just how private those online posts are in examining the case of a Department for Transport employee whose "series of embarrassing tweets" have been found to be public and thus fair game for newspaper reports. The comments, which were republished by two newspapers, prompted her to contact the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), stating she had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when she made the comments on social networking site Twitter. The PCC, however, disagreed "As more and more people make use of such social media to publish material related to their lives, the commission is increasingly being asked to make judgments about what can legitimately be described as private information," said PCC Director Stephen Abell.
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