How should media treat the case of recent private data leaks

Albanian Media Council and the Alliance for Ethical Media, is critically assessing the situation created by the leak of personal data of citizens, such as salaries, license plates, etc.

While the leaked documents may not be legitimately obtained documents (as global examples like Wikileaks, Liste LeGarde, Pandora Papers, etc.) they may often contain information of public interest.

Based on this, AMC and the Alliance for Ethical Media consider that while this data has already fallen into the hands of many, it is even more crucial for the media to responsibly steer the public debate to that part of the information that is in the public interest, not unjustly violating the privacy of citizens.

KSHM and AME, call on all media to take into account these important standards:

1. The media has the right to process the leaked data to inform the public. Data processing should be oriented only towards topics that are of public interest and not that represent public curiosity.
2. Media must try to protect from this processing, as much as it is possible, the personal details of the citizens.
3. In case the media considers that the salary and the institution that pays an individual constitute issues of high public interest, before the processed data are published, the mentioned individuals should definitely be given space to comment.

AMC and AME, consider that the responsible behavior of the media in this situation is a basic condition to steer the debate on these lists where it should be: to the highest public interest.