Privacy law warning for reality TV
5 July 2005, BRUSSELS — The producers of reality TV programmes must abide by privacy regulations or risk a EUR 550,000 fine, Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx has said.
5 July 2005
BRUSSELS — The producers of reality TV programmes must abide by privacy regulations or risk a EUR 550,000 fine, Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx has said.
The minister was responding to questions raised by Socialist (Spirit) politician Stijn Bex, who was concerned by the VTM series called 'The MUG'.
The makers of the show filmed how someone died from a heart attack without first obtaining permission, news service 'Skynet' reported on Tuesday.
Onkelinx said reality programmes represent "a processing of personal information". It means that filming identified or recognisable people is regulated by the nation's privacy laws dating back to 1992.
Consequently, producers of reality TV shows may only film someone if they have expressively given prior approval, the minister told the parliament's justice commission.
Moreover, 'The MUG' included medical details and the use of such sensitive information is banned under Belgian privacy laws.
The ramifications for the commercial broadcaster VTM due to the minister's statement were not immediately clear.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news