Prishtinë/ Pristina, 04 April 2020 –Ombudsperson sees with great concern publication of some news by portals which have published lists with tables containing names and surnames, as well as other information, concerning persons who have been ordered to be isolated in quarantine, due to corona virus.
Such publications are in contradiction with many legal norms as well as with some regulations which are dedicated for media self-regulation. Constitution of Republic of Kosovo regulates very well this issue, specifically Article 36 [Right to Privacy], Law No. 06/L-082 on Protection of Personal Data, Law No. 04/L-125 on Health, and the Law No.2004/38 for the Rights and Responsibilities of the Kosovo Residents in the Health Care.
The Ombudsperson addresses portals with the request to remove this type of news so that they are not re-published by other portals. At the same time the Ombudsperson requests from media and journalists to do more for protection of personal data of persons in self-isolation, quarantine, those hospitalized and diagnosed with COVID 19, apart those given by person’s consent.
Media are playing a major role in these circumstances by placing journalists at the front line in order to disseminate accurate information to the public. Media have also their own liabilities to accomplish according to the Code of Ethics and other self-regulation documents. The Ombudsperson puts emphases on the latest recommendations of the Press Council of Kosovo (PCK) for all media regarding their reporting on the situation with COVID-19.
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