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Legal issues for information professionals .3. Data protection and the media - background to the Data Protection Act 1984 and the EC Draft Directive on Data Protection

Ellis, Sarah and Oppenheim, Charles (1993) Legal issues for information professionals .3. Data protection and the media - background to the Data Protection Act 1984 and the EC Draft Directive on Data Protection. Journal of Information Science, 19 (2). pp. 85-97. ISSN 0165-5515

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Abstract

British law recognises no statutory right to privacy The Data Protection Act 1984 was the first Act to address this right, albeit in the limited area of the automatic processing of personal data. The debate over the opposing requirements of privacy and freedom of expression, especially with reference to the media has, over the last decade, generated a lot of discussion and disagreement. This paper addresses the at tempts to balance the conflicting concerns of individual privacy and freedom of expresion and the rights of the individual vis à vis those of economic and political needs This paper examines the background to both the 1984 UK Data Protection Act and the EC Draft Directive on data protection, and also considers the balance between privacy and the need for public disclosure in the media.