Cell phone footage of a neighborhood spat that went viral and became the basis of a story A current deal led to a violation of the Broadcasting Services Act by Nine.
Australia’s Media and Communications Authority found that a March 2022 story violated a participant’s privacy by including his name, part of his home address and unobscured video footage of his face without his consent.
The dispute centered on a 19-year-old man living in a small community in regional NSW and a falling out with an older neighbor over the placement of a projector. A friend of the 19-year-old filmed a scuffle when the neighbor entered the property, with the latter objecting to being filmed on his cell phone.
ACA, in following the stoush, referred to the neighbor by its full name while the broadcast footage showed it in close-up.
Nine said that because the video had over 400,000 views on the web, it didn’t invade privacy. ACAThe story of ‘s subsequently ended 9 million views on YouTube.
But ACMA President Nerida O’Loughlin said: “Broadcasters may only disclose personal information without consent if it is relevant and proportionate to the public interest.
“In this case our investigation found that it was not in the public interest for Nine to disclose the individual’s name and address because there was no need to allow the public to understand the overall problem.
“Even if the material is already available in the public sphere, as were some of these footage, a licensee has an obligation to consider how the transmission of the material might further impact individuals’ privacy.”
Nine will now train staff on the privacy requirements of the code. Still.