The first of a number of important media and information law appeals listed this term is before the Court of Appeal this week. The three day appeal in the “data leak” case of Various Claimants v W M Morrisons Supermarkets will begin on 9 October 2018.
For the background to the case see:
- Inforrm, News: Morrisons found liable in landmark data protection group action.
- Panopticon, Vicarious Liability and Data Controllers.
- 5RB, Various Claimants v WM Morrisons Supermarket plc
Human Rights Group Liberty has boycotted Home Office consultations in the wake of government proposals to establish a “super database” containing details of individuals criminal convictions, intelligence, victims and those cleared of wrongdoing. The Guardian highlighted the governments’ admittance that large amounts of data will have nothing to do with crime prevention. This brings into question whether the storage of such data engages article 8 (privacy) and the degree to which there is a countervailing public interest in its usage.
Bloomberg has analysed a cyber-attack allegedly undertaken by Chinese spies in an attempt to infiltrate into U.S. technology companies. The piece focuses on the cyber security implications and lessons to be taken from the alleged hacking, which originated in 2015.
The LSE Media Policy Project Blog has a fascinating post attempting to tackle the reformation of social media regulation. The Blog vouches for the implementation of anticipatory regulation which provides adaptability and a dynamic regulatory framework argued to be better suited in keeping pace with market innovation.
IP Kat has a post analysing the role of technology in the monetisation of copyrighted works.
Internet and Social Media
The Cearta Blog has considered the application of Irish copyright law to digital publishing and critiques recent government forays into reform.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
Mishcon de Reya’s Data Matters Blog has considered the application of data analytics and AI to the healthcare sector and the consequential issues which arise. Such matters are becoming more pertinent as healthcare insurers seek to obtain customers healthcare monitoring device data, with Blackberry releasing new blockchain tools to protect and assist in harvesting such data.
Privacy International has noted the interdependence of privacy upon security as part of a post for National Cyber Security Awareness Month and has published a series of posts:
- a series of podcasts on cyber security,
- analysis of a report from the High Commissioner for Human Rights into safeguarding privacy in the digital age; and
- suggested frameworks for regulating cyber-crime and implementing cyber security measures whilst explaining the difference between the two concepts.
The Economist has noted [£] that Facebook is starting to feel the practical consequences of GPDR compliance in the form of restrictions upon data harvesting.
The ICO has posted on the formation of its new innovation hub.
The ICO has fined a Manchester based firm £150,000 for making nuisance calls.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The Press Gazette has reported the some courts are issuing guidance to clarify that the GDPR does not prevent journalists from obtaining court listings. The article comes following two Magistrates’ Courts, Gateshead and Willesden, falsely stating that the GDPR curtailed listing information they could provide to the press.
An anonymity order was lifted due to the imminent coming of age of a defendant and public the countervailing interest in his conviction for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, the Press Gazette.
Hacked Off and MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development) have posted following their sponsorship of a fringe event at the Labour Party Conference. The event, similar to the post, focused on reforming press regulation and remedying islamophobia.
The IPSO Blog has posted on the sensitive, nuanced, issues arising from reporting on suicides which take place at outdoor locations.
The Complaints Committee has published two resolution statements this week:
- Resolution Statement 04110-18 Jefferd v Mail Online, resolved via IPSO mediation, provisions 1 (accuracy) and 2 (privacy)
- Resolution Statement 05696-18 A woman v Leamington Spa Courier, resolved via IPSO mediation, provisions 2 and 6 (children)
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
We are not aware of any statements in open court in the last week.
Last Week in the Courts
On 5 October 2018 Nicola Davies J handed down judgment in the case of Piepenbrock v London School of Economics  EWHC 2572 (QB) (heard 16, 17, 20 23, 24 and 27 July 2018).
- 15 October 2018, 11:45-1:15pm, SF ISACA Conference, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco. CA – a focus on net neutrality, internet regulation and cybersecurity
- 16 October 2018, 18:30-20:30, IPSO Whose news do you trust? Question an expert media panel, Cardiff University School of Journalism Media and Culture, 2 Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
In the case of Herron v HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1495 the Federal Court refused an abuse of the process application in respect of a libel action concerning a book which dealt with events concerning two doctors in the 1970s which had been the subject of extensive publicity and investigation by a Royal Commission.
Michael Geist’s Blog has noted the implementation of the US-Mexico-Canada Digital Trade Agreement and its safeguards for freedom of expression.
The CRTC has denied the Bell Coalition’s proposal for website blocking reforms which would have compromised net neutrality, Michael Geist’s Blog has coverage.
Amid growing concerns of online censorship undertaken by the Chinese government Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog has posted an interview of Margaret E. Roberts. Roberts is an Assistant professor of University of California and discusses her book entitled Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China’s Great Firewall.
Following our reporting last week the Malaysian Bar has voiced concerns over the recent ruling of a federal court that the government may sue citizens for defamation citing the danger of a “chilling effect on public discourse”, the Malay Mail reports.
The Irish News reports that Alliance Councillor Sorcha Eastwood has commenced libel proceedings against the DUP’s Graham Craig over a tweet which accused her of speaking on behalf of republican paramilitaries.
Dawn.com reports on calls by the Senate Standing Committee for the government to enact a defamation law to discourage the scrutiny of politicians and strengthen online media regulation.
The Citizen reports that the High Court dismissed a libel action by a former police officer Peter-Don Brandt against Independent Newspapers over a 2008 article. Judge Bill Prinsloo held that the article was a report of court proceedings and protected by qualified privilege.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Sunday Express reports that A former member of a Chaguanas church has been ordered by the High Court to pay $250,000 in damages after she made defamatory statements about the institution, calling it a “killer cult”, a “graveyard for babies” and that members were involved in witchcraft.
United Arab Emirates
The Khaleej Times has reported on the criminal offence of invasion of privacy in the Middle East and uses a series of case studies to illustrate the practical application of the offence.
On 3 October 2018 the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system. The system sends text messages to cell phones nationwide and has been critiqued for its potential to compromise the security of recipient’s devices.
California’s bill protecting net neutrality has come under fire from the Federal government in a legal challenge, Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog reports.
Internet cases has covered the case of Krechmer v. Tantaros 2018 WL 4044048, which considered whether a claim under Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (17 U.S.C. § 1202(a), for intent to conceal or provide false copyright information, was made out.
The Tennessee Supreme Court has considered the defamation defence of fair reporting privilege and the extent to which it is undermined by the motive of malice.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking commentary on its draft report regulating the internet of things.
Research and Resources
- Varieties of Damages for Breach of Privacy, J N E Varuhas  UMelbLRS 7
- Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018, Nic Newman, Richard Fletcher, Antonis Kalogeropoulos, David Levy and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, University of Oxford – Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
- A Right to Reasonable Inferences: Re-Thinking Data Protection Law in the Age of Big Data and AI, Sandra Wachter and Brent Mittelstadt, University of Oxford – Oxford Internet Institute
- Big Data and the EU Database Directive 96/9/EC: Current Law and Potential for Reform, Matthias Leistner, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
- Indian Personal Data Protection Act, 2018: Draft Bill and Its History, Compared to EU GDPR and California Privacy Law, Lothar Determann and Chetan Gupta, Baker & McKenzie
- Is Consent Really Dead?, Kriti Trehan, Law Offices of Panag & Babu
Next Week in the Courts
On Monday 8 October 2018, Warby J will hand down judgment in the representative action data protection case of Lloyd v Google LLC (heard 21 to 23 May 2018).
On the same day Mann J will hear a PTR in the case of Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers – the NGN phone hacking litigation. A trial is due to begin next Monday, 15 October 2018.
On the same day Jay J will hear the trial in the case of Ashraf v Dunya News a libel claim by a former Prime Minister of Pakistan over a broadcast on 7 February 2016. The claim form and particulars of claim are available on Lawtel [£]
As already mentioned, on 9 October 2018 the Court of Appeal will begin hearing the 3 day appeal in the data protection case of Various Claimants v W M Morrisons Supermarkets.
On the same day there will be a PTR in the case of ZXC v Bloomberg.
On 10 or 11 October 2018 there will be an application in the case of Johnson v Ministry of Justice.
On 11 or 12 October 2018 there will be an application in the case of Kirby v Salvation Army Hostel Association.
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
Economou v Freitas, heard 17 and 18 April 2018 (Lewison, Ryder and Sharp LJJ)
Monir v Wood, heard 16 to 19 April and 3 to 5 July 2018 (Nicklin J).
Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland, heard 25 and 26 July 2018 (Sharp, Asplin LJJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).
This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law.