IPSO rules that publication of festival 'fraud' man's mobile number was a breach of privacy

The Argus in Brighton has been censured by the Independent Press Standards Organisation after an error saw it publish the mobile phone number in a caption of a man accused of involvement in a festival tickets 'fraud'.

IPSO said in its ruling: "The newspaper did not accept that the publication of the complainant’s phone number intruded into his privacy. It said that the caption had been published by mistake, and that it had removed it as soon as it became aware of the error. Further, a source had informed it that 'hundreds' of his customers would have had his phone number.

"The Committee started from the point of view that an individual’s personal mobile telephone number generally constitutes private information.

"Under the terms of the code, account will be taken of a complainant’s own public disclosures of information, and the extent to which information is established in the public domain. In this instance, however, there was no evidence (beyond an assertion that the telephone number was known by 'hundreds' of people) that the complainant had publicly disclosed the information, and nor was it known to be established in the public domain."

Read the adjudication in full.

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