A former stripper complained to the press watchdog after a regional daily used a photograph of her in a story about the club where she used to dance opening on Christmas Day.
The woman claimed the Plymouth Herald’s use of the file photo, which was taken in 2005 when she was 18 or 19, was confidential information.
The Herald reported on 10 November last year how the strip club, Temptations T2, had asked the local council for a renewed licence allowing it to open all day on Christmas Day.
The photo was one of a number illustrating the article and showed the unnamed woman posing with a dancing pole, wearing a performance outfit.
In her complaint to IPSO under Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, she said that she now owned a professional business, and regarded the fact she had worked at the club as confidential information.
The Herald responded that the photo was originally taken for an article about the club it published in 2005, in which the complainant was identified as working there by name and had consented to being photographed as part of a publicity feature for the club and had spoken about her work.
The newspaper said that in these circumstances, the fact she had worked at the club was not private and the photograph did not reveal any private information, arguing that to find otherwise would require editors to make an impossible judgement about what information that had previously been willingly placed in the public domain might be considered to be embarrassing by the same person at a later date.
The Herald added the fact someone is or has been employed at a particular establishment is not in itself private, but offered to remove the photo from the online article as a gesture of goodwill, saying it understood that when one is young, one can make choices which are later regretted.
IPSO acknowledged that the complainant did not want people to know about her previous association with the club, and welcomed the newspaper’s decision to swiftly remove the photograph, but considered that a person’s previous employment as an adult does not ordinarily constitute part of their private life.
The complaint was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.