John Laws breaches Code

Staff Writer

Back in November 2013 John Laws read a man’s personal phone number on air. That flagged a complaint and investigation for a breach of the privacy provisions of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.

Clause 2.3 (d) of the Codes provides that the licensee must not ‘use material relating to a person’s personal or private affairs, or which invades an individual’s privacy, unless there is a public interest in broadcasting such information.

ACMA found that in a broadcast on 25 November, 2013, John Laws twice read out, on air, the full name and mobile phone number of a man who was critical of his program.

The ACMA did not accept the licensee’s argument (2SM Pty Ltd), that there was implied consent on the part of the complainant to the broadcast of his phone number. Furthermore, the ACMA did not accept that broadcasting the private details of the complainant was in the public interest.

You can download and view the full Commercial Radio Codes of Practice here.

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