December 21, 2005
Rowling Privacy Complaint upheld
Daily Mirror picture of author's home in breach of PCC code
The Daily Mirror has been criticised by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) for publishing a photograph of JK Rowling’s home.
The PCC upheld a complaint from Rowling following publication of a picture of the author’s London home together with the name of the road on which it was located. These details were, in the PCC’s view, “sufficient information to identify the exact location of the property”. Rowling had complained that she had previously been subject to security threats at her homes.
Papers cannot give the exact location of a person’s home without permission.
The Daily Mirror also published photos and information about two other of the Harry Potter writer’s homes in Scotland, in the same article. But the watchdog said this specific information did not breach its code because it was not sufficient to identify the exact location of the other two homes.
The newspaper had argued that the address was already in the public domain because the name of the road had already been published in another newspaper, and that the electoral register and Land Registry identified the complainant as the owner.
Rejecting this argument, the PCC held that the Daily Mirror had not demonstrated that the information was sufficiently in the public domain to justify its publication.