Record PCC privacy complaints

Press Complaints Commission resolved more complaints than ever in 2006

The Press Complaints Commission has published it’s 2006 Annual Review, revealing that it received a record number of privacy complaints during last year, and investigated and resolved its most ever complaints.

The Commission dealt with 231 cases relating directly to privacy
in 2006. 96 of these were settled amicably following an agreement
brokered by PCC officials, while proportionate offers of settlement
(not accepted by complainants) made in a further 16. The Commission published 19 adjudications concerning privacy, upholding 5 complaints. The remainder were dispensed through private rulings from the
Commission, usually because they did not breach the Code. Most privacy cases concern the regional and local press rather than national newspapers and magazines.

The increase in privacy complaints may be a product of increased awareness by members of the public of their rights to privacy after high-profile court cases in recent years, including those involving Naomi Campbell, the Douglasses and Jamie Theakston.

The number of resolved complaints rose in 2006 to 418 last year – a rise of 20% over 2005 and the highest in the organisation’s history – while the number of complaints fell by around 10% to 3,332.

The vast majority of complaints – 78% – continue to be in respect of the accuracy of articles.