World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


WAN-IFRA Board Adopts Resolution Calling on Courts of Law Around the World to Uphold Freedom of Expression in the Face of “Right To Be Forgotten” Claims

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

WAN-IFRA Board Adopts Resolution Calling on Courts of Law Around the World to Uphold Freedom of Expression in the Face of “Right To Be Forgotten” Claims

The Board of WAN-IFRA strongly disagrees with a judgement made on 29th April 2016 by the Belgian Superior Court ordering newspaper Le Soir to alter an article published 22 years ago. The judgement was made on privacy grounds so as to anonymize the individual named in the online version of the original report. 

The Belgian Superior Court upheld the ruling of the appellate judge and agreed that publication of the article in the newspaper’s online archives could be considered as a new disclosure of facts regarding the individual’s judicial past. It ruled that the subsequent damage to the right-holder’s reputation outweighed the interest of the public in maintaining access to the totality of the information.

The Board of WAN-IFRA expresses solidarity with Groupe Rossel in its forthcoming appeal against the decision before the European Court of Human Rights. It however  relies on the Court to confirm the interpretation of European privacy rules as laid out by the European Court of Justice in the case referred to as ‘Costeja Vs Google Spain’. Rendered in May 2014, in that decision the Court found that news media enjoy an exemption for journalistic purposes that indemnifies them from individual claims based on data protection laws and, in particular, on “right to be forgotten”.

 The Board acknowledges the relevance of the human right to privacy, as defended by the so-called “right to be forgotten,” but strongly believes that newspaper archives, whether on paper or digitalised, should remain intact in the interests of freedom of information and historical accuracy. Furthermore, it maintains that any imposed alteration of news articles represents an unacceptable restriction on the freedom of the press.

Author

Elena Perotti's picture

Elena Perotti

Date

2016-06-12 19:32

Author information

The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.


© 2018 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation