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Code of Practice Concerning the Processing of Personal Data in the Exercise of Journalistic Activities

SCHEDA
Garante per la protezione dei dati personali
Doc-Web:
1565746
Data:
29/07/98
Tipologia:
Codice deontologico

[doc. web n. 1565746]
[doc. web n. 1556386 versione italiana]

Code of Practice Concerning the Processing of Personal Data in the Exercise of Journalistic Activities
Pursuant to 
Section 25 of Act no. 675 of 31.12.96
(Published in the Official Journal no. 179 of August 3, 1998)

 

The garante per la protezione dei dati personali

Having regard to Section 25 of Act no. 675 of 31.12.96, as amended by Section 12 of legislative decree no. 171 of 13.05.98, which provides that the processing of personal data in the exercise of the journalistic profession is to be carried out on the basis of a specific code of practice setting forth provisions and arrangements to safeguard data subjects by having regard to the nature of the data, especially as related to data disclosing health and sex life;

Having regard to para. 4-bis of said Section 25, which provides that the aforementioned code of practice shall also apply to the activity of freelance and trainee journalists and to any person who transiently processes personal data with a view to the occasional publication of papers, essays and other intellectual works;

Having regard to para. 2 of said Section 25, which provides that the code of practice is adopted by the National Council of the Press Association in cooperation with the Garante, which encourages such adoption and is responsible for having the code published in the Official Journal [Gazzetta Ufficiale];

Having regard to document no. 89/GAR of 26.05.97, in which the Garante called upon the National Council of the Press Association to adopt the code within six months of the date of transmission of said document;

Having regard to document no. 4640 of 24.11.97, in which the Garante granted the request for a short postponement of said six-month term as lodged by the National Council of the Press Association on 19.11.97;

Having regard to decision no. 5252 of 18.12.97, in which the Garante pointed to criteria that the National Council of the Press Association was called upon to consider in balancing freedoms and rights applying to journalistic activities;

Having regard to document no. 314 of 23.01.98, in which the Garante made additional considerations concerning the initial draft code as laid down by the National Council of the Press Association, which had been transmitted to the Garante by document no. 7182 of 30.12.97;

Having regard to document no. 204 of 15.01.98, in which - based on the initial implementation of Act no. 675/1996 and on the draft code - the Garante reported to the Minister of Justice on the desirability of amending Section 25 of the Act, which was actually amended by said legislative decree no. 171 of 13.05.98;

Having regard to document no. 5876 of 30.06.98, in which the Garante called upon the National Council of the Press Association to make further amendments to the draft approved of late by the Council at its meeting of 26th and 27th March 1998, as transmitted to the Garante by document no. 1074 of 08.04.98;

Having established adequacy of the provisions and arrangements laid down to safeguard data subjects in the final draft of the code of practice, as transmitted to the Garante by the National Council of the Press Association in document no. 2210 of 15.07.98;

Whereas the code of practice is to be published in the Official Journal under the Garante's responsibility, in pursuance of Section 25(2) of Act no. 675/1996, and enters into force fifteen days after its publication;

Hereby orders

The code of practice attached hereto to be transmitted to the Ufficio pubblicazione leggi e decreti [Publishing Department] of the Ministry of Justice in order for it to be published in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic.

Done in Rome this 29th day of July 1998

 


CODE OF PRACTICE CONCERNING THE PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA IN THE EXERCISE OF JOURNALISTIC ACTIVITIES

Article 1. General Principles
1. These provisions are aimed at reconciling fundamental rights of individuals with citizens' right to information and freedom of the press.

2. The journalistic profession is carried out without being subject to authorisation or censorship as provided for by Article 21 of the Italian Constitution. On account of its being a prerequisite for freedom of the press, the fact of collecting, recording, keeping and disseminating information on facts and occurrences concerning persons, collective entities, official bodies, custom, scientific research and intellectual movements - when carried out within the scope of journalistic activity and for the relevant purposes - is essentially different in nature from the storage and processing of personal data by databases or other entities. The necessary derogations provided for by paragraphs 17 and 37 and Article 9 of Directive 95/46/EC of 24.10.95, of the European Parliament and the Council, and by Act no. 675/1996 are grounded on the aforementioned principles.

Article 2. Data Banks Used by Editorial Offices and Protection of Journalists' Personal Archives
1. Journalists collecting information for any of the operations referred to under Section 1(2)(b) of Act no. 675/96 must identify themselves, their profession and the purposes of the collection, unless this may endanger their safety or otherwise makes it impossible for them to carry out their journalistic activity; they must refrain from subterfuge and harassment. Having disclosed their activity, journalists are not required to provide the remaining items of information referred to in Section 10(1) of Act no. 675/96.

2. If personal data are collected from data banks used by editorial offices, publishing companies must inform the public at least twice a year, through advertisements, of the existence of such data banks and the place where the rights as per Act no. 675/96 may be exercised. Publishing companies must also include the data processor's name into management data in order for data subjects to apply to such processor for exercising the rights referred to in Act no. 675/96.

3. The safeguards set out in Section 2 of Act no. 69/1963 and Section 13(5) of Act no. 675/1996 with regard to sources of information  apply to journalists' personal archives that are used for the exercise of professional activities and for the sole purposes related thereto.

4. Journalists may keep the data they have collected for as long as is necessary for the relevant professional purposes.

Article 3. Protection of a Person's Residence
1. Protection of a person's residence and other private places of abode also extends to health care, custodial or rehabilitation institutions in compliance with the relevant legislation and with the appropriate use of invasive techniques.

Article 4. Rectification
1. Journalists must promptly rectify mistakes or inaccuracies, also in pursuance of the duty of rectification in the cases provided for by law and in accordance with the relevant arrangements.

Article 5. Right to Information and Personal Data
1. In collecting personal data disclosing racial and ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or other beliefs, political opinions, membership of parties, trade unions, associations or organisations of a religious, philosophical, political or trade-unionist character and any data disclosing health and sex life, journalists must ensure the right to information on facts of public interest, by having regard to the materiality of such information, and avoid any reference to relatives or other persons who are not involved in the relevant events.

2. With regard to data concerning circumstances or events that have been made known either directly by the persons concerned or on account of their public conduct, the right to subsequently provide proof of the existence of lawful justification deserving legal protection is hereby left unprejudiced.

Article 6. Materiality of the Information
1. Disclosure of information of substantial public or social interest is not in conflict with the respect for private life if this information, detailed or not, is indispensable on account of either the originality of the relevant event(s) or the description of the specific way in which they have occurred as well as in the light of the qualifications of the persons involved.

2. The private sphere of prominent persons and persons holding public offices must be respected if the information or data are irrelevant to their role or public life.

3. Journalists' opinions and comments are part of freedom of the press as well as of the freedom of expression granted to all citizens by Constitution.

Article 7. Protection of Children
1. Journalists must not refer to the names of children involved in facts reported in the press or provide particulars allowing their identification, in order to protect their personality.

2. The protection of children's personality also extends to facts that are not specifically regarded as offences, by having regard to nature and items of the relevant report.

3. The child's right to privacy must always take precedence over both freedom of expression and freedom of the press; however, if journalists decide to publish reports or images concerning children for reasons of substantial public interest, without prejudice to legal constraints, they will be responsible for evaluating whether such publication does serve the child's objective interests in pursuance of the principles and limitations laid down in the "Treviso Charter".

Article 8. Protection of Personal Dignity
1. Without prejudice to materiality of the information, journalists must not provide information or publish images or photographs of persons involved in facts reported in the press where such information, images or photographs affect the persons' dignity, nor must they dwell on the details of acts of violence, unless the information or images are deemed to be important for the public.

2. Journalists must not film or produce images and photographs of persons in custody without the latters' consent, unless this is done either to serve a substantial public interest or for proven judicial and police purposes.

3. No person may be shown when fettered or handcuffed, unless this is necessary to report maltreatment.

Article 9. Protection of the Right to Non-Discrimination
1. In exercising the rights and duties related to freedom of the press, journalists must respect a person's right to non-discrimination on account of his/her race, religion, political opinions, sex, personal circumstances, bodily or mental condition.

Article 10. Protection of the Dignity of the Ill
1. In referring to the health of an identified or identifiable person, journalists must respect his/her dignity, right to privacy and decorum especially in cases involving severe or terminal diseases; they must avoid publishing analysis data of exclusively clinical interest.

2. Publication is allowed for the purpose of ensuring that all material information is disclosed and by respecting a person's dignity, if such person plays an especially important social or public role.

Article 11. Protection of a Person's Sex Life
1. Journalists must avoid reporting the sex life of any identified or identifiable person.

2. Publication is allowed for the purpose of ensuring that all material information is disclosed and by respecting a person's dignity, if such person plays an especially important social or public role.

Article 12. Protection of Freedom of the Press with regard to Criminal Proceedings
1. The limitation set out in Section 24 of Act no. 675/96 does not apply to the processing of data concerning criminal proceedings.

2. Processing of personal data disclosing adoption of the measures as per Section 686(1)(a) and (d), (2) and (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code is allowed within the scope of freedom of the press, in accordance with the principles laid down in Article 5.

Article 13. Scope of Application and Disciplinary Measures
1. These provisions shall apply to professional journalists, free-lance and trainee journalists and to any person carrying out journalistic activities even occasionally.

2. The disciplinary measures referred to under Title III of Act no. 69/1963 shall only apply to persons included in the Roll of Journalists, in the relevant lists or in the Register.