Personal details of teenage girl broadcast live on air after The Edge radio station gaffe

A teenage girl shared her personal details with a radio announcer - not realising the information was being broadcast. Photo /File
A teenage girl shared her personal details with a radio announcer - not realising the information was being broadcast. Photo /File

A 15-year-old girl had personal details - including her full name, date of birth, address, mobile number and school - broadcast live on air after a mistake by a radio announcer, the Broadcasting Standards' Authority has found.

The girl called The Edge's Smash! 20 countdown show in July as part of a competition but had her private information broadcast after the announcer left the phone channel in on-air mode.

The authority this month upheld a complaint that the broadcast breached her privacy.

But the authority also acknowledged the breach was the result of a technical error and that the broadcaster - MediaWorks' Radio - responded immediately.

"MediaWorks said that the announcer immediately contacted the caller to explain what had happened and to apologise, and that the show's producer and The Edge's content director had formally counselled the announcer, reminding him of his responsibilities when handling live phone calls."

No order was made by the authority.

The complaint was made by a third person and while they had found privacy had been breached, the authority would need to understand consequences for the girl before awarding compensation.

"We do not know and nor does the complainant. We could inquire of the caller, who is a young person, but we have decided not to do so. The caller has not participated in this process and an inquiry by this authority may be seen as intrusive or as a re-opening of something that has been closed."

A MediaWorks' spokesman said tonight the broadcaster was sorry.

"The Edge immediately contacted the caller to apologise for this error, and would like to apologise once again."

- NZ Herald

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