The PCC has rejected the principle that "jigsaw identification" can be extended to matters of privacy and the identification of people's home addresses.
Super-rich Dubai businessman Badr Jafar complained that an article published on the Evening Standard's thisislondon website on 21 July headlined "Naomi arrested after ‘disturbance' " identified his home, in breach of Clause Three of the Editors' Code (privacy).
It reported that supermodel Naomi Campbell — who has been romantically linked to Jafar — had been arrested outside his house and stated the road name. Jafar's lawyers pointed out that a previous Sun article had pictured the house and that the two pieces together could lead to his address being found through "jigsaw identification".
Rejecting Jafr's complaint, the PCC said: "The concept of ‘jigsaw identification' generally relates to the process of identifying victims of sexual assault by putting together information that is in the public domain through a variety of different sources. The commission did not consider that it was either practical or desirable to extend this principle to the identification of properties.
"It is not the case that newspapers must never publish material that may identify the whereabouts of an individual's home. Newspapers frequently publish the partial or complete addresses of those involved in court cases, or otherwise when addresses are relevant and legitimately in the public domain.
"Where the commission expects restraint is when the individual is vulnerable to attention from stalkers if the whereabouts of their home are identified."