Aug 052021
 
 August 5, 2021  Posted by  Laws, Non-U.S., Youth & Schools

PogoWasRight.org recently linked to an opinion piece by a student in Singapore who felt the press had not respected his privacy when they covered an incident at his school.  His description raised questions for me:

The student who wrote this commentary in The Independent was obviously distraught by the incident and then further distraught by finding himself pictured in the news. What, if anything, does the government of Singapore have to say about this?  Is this freedom of the press in Singapore or a violation of privacy?

PogoWasRight has sent an inquiry to the Data Protection Commission of Singapore to pose that question.

I described the question this way:

A student in Singapore wrote a commentary about press actions following the River Valley High School tragedy/incident. The commentary appears here:
https://theindependent.sg/reporters-did-not-care-for-students-privacy-river-valley-high-school-student-on-being-photographed-after-leaving-crime-scene/

My question: Did reporters and photographers operate within any press freedom laws of Singapore or does the student raise a valid complaint about their privacy in that situation? What does Singapore law protect for students in this situation and what does it permit under press freedom?

Yesterday, this site received an answer, with an apology for the delay in replying. The response, in relevant part, read:

The Personal Data Protection Act (“PDPA”) regulates organisations’ collection, use and disclosure of the personal data of individuals. With regard to the said article posted by The Independent, it does not involve the collection, use or disclosure of individuals’ personal data.

You may also wish to note that under the Children and Young Persons Act (“CYPA<https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/CYPA1993>”), no one is allowed to publish or broadcast information that identifies or is calculated to identify any person below 18 years old who is involved in any court proceedings, including as a witness. This includes not publishing any information that may inadvertently lead to the identification of any persons under the age of 18 who may be involved in subsequent court proceedings.

PogoWasRightorg appreciates the commission’s response. It sounds like the student’s feelings of privacy invasion might not have the support of law.

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