Clauses Noted: 3
Publication: Scotland on Sunday
Ms Yvonne MacQuarrie complained through solicitors Messrs McGrigor Donald of Glasgow that a photograph of her published in Scotland on Sunday on 6 December 1998 to illustrate an article eadlined "The power of one woman", and repeated on the newspaper's letters page of 13 December 1998, was taken without her knowledge or consent with the use of a long lens. She alleged that this was an unjustifiable intrusion in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Code of Practice.
The complaint was upheld
The complainant explained that the photograph of her at work in her private office was taken from the garden of the offices. By photographing her alone at her desk the newspaper had deliberately conveyed a different impression to how she would have appeared in a photograph of her in a relaxed meeting with colleagues. By re-printing the photograph on the letters page with a caption which had sinister connotations, this had perpetuated the story line of the previous week (which had described her as a bully).
The editor pointed out that the council building was public, and considered that a photograph of the complainant at work was relevant as the whole article published on 6 December related to the complainant's working record. The photograph had not portrayed her in a negative manner.
The Commission agreed with the complainant that the inside of an office is a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy within the terms of the Code. Although it appeared that the complainant might not have minded the publication of the photograph if it had shown her in a different light, the Commission had no option but to uphold the complaint.
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