On 8 October 2018 Warby J handed down judgment in the data protection representation action of Lloyd v Google ([2018] EWHC 2599 (QB)). He refused the representative claimant permission to serve the claim on Google in California. There was an Inforrm case comment and a post on the Panopticon blog.

We had a preview of this term’s media and information law cases.  Please let us know if there are further cases which should be included.

The Telegraph has a report on the claim by transgender lawyer Stephanie Hayden against scriptwriter Graham Lineham which it describes as Britain’s first “deadnaming” case.  The case was first reported by Roll on Friday.

Hold the Front Page has a piece on the case of Sube v NGN Ltd and Express Newspapers [2018] EWHC 1961 (QB). The case illustrates that multiple articles published across a series of outlets cannot be considered cumulatively in their ability to meet s.1 of the Defamation Act 2013, the threshold for serious reputational harm in defamation cases.

In an interesting Report Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog explored the regulation of online intermediary platforms and its role in the prevention of dissemination of illegal content promoting terrorism.

In an INFORRM post Dirk Voorhoof considered the recent case of Savva Terentyev v. Russia, in which the ECtHR applied a high standard of protection to the freedom of speech of a blogger.

Following the European Parliament’s adoption of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive last week, LSE’s Media Policy Project Blog has analysed the potential impact of the implementation of the Directive on YouTube and the TV industry. The Project has also posted on the issue of reforming harmful narratives caused by fake news.

Internet and Social Media

Fortune reports that Twitter is under formal investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commission for its tracking of users data following their selection of links in tweets.

Forbes has considered whether social media operates to empower or silence users.

The Business Times has posted a call to action highlighting increasing instances of internet hacking and the need for the more rigorous regulation of cybercrime.

The Competition Markets Authority is considering investigating the regulation of digital advertising, the Guardian reports. The House of Lords report from the Select Committee on Communications entitled “UK advertising in a digital age” provides useful context.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The Council of Europe has opened Convention 108, the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, for signing. The Convention provides an international benchmark for data protection and is legally binding on the member states who are signatories.


Heathrow Airport Limited (“HAL”) has been fined £120,000 for failing to adequately protect personal data, the fine comes following a member of the public finding a memory stick lost by a HAL employee. The memory stick contained over 1,000 files, a small portion of which held personal data, and was not encrypted or password protected.  This incident serves as a reminder not only of the need for adequate policies concerning data protection but the need to implement practical data security measures at a fundamental level.


The ECHR Blog has considered the implications of the case of Big Brother Watch and Others v. UK and analysed areas of surveillance regulation where potential human rights concerns remain.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

Ofcom is seeking to investigate a recent phone-in from Jeremy Corbyn to an LBC radio show hosted by Sadiq Khan for potentially breaching impartiality rules.

The Press Gazette has covered the case bought for unpaid wages against Monocle magazine by former intern Amalia Illgner. The case is due to be heard early next year.

The Gazette has also covered the charging of a Head of News of BBC Asian Network for incidentially naming of a victim of sexual abuse.


IPSO is discussing establishing new guidelines for reporting deaths resulting from domestic violence with feminist group Level Up.

The Press Gazette has covered a recent apology made by Woman’s Own magazine to Denise Welch following a front page headline commenting on the actresses return to the show Loose Woman. The ruling, made by IPSO’s Complaints Committee, can be found here.


Statements in Open Court and Apologies

The parties in the case of Brown v Bower have issued a Joint Press Statement [pdf] confirming that they have resolved their differences.  The claimant accepted that the defendants had published the words complained of in good faith and the defendants accept that the words were untrue.

Last Week in the Courts

As already mentioned, on 8 October 2018 Warby J handed down judgment in the case of Lloyd v Google LLC [2018] EWHC 2599 (QB).  Permission to appeal was refused.

On 9 to 11 October 2018 the Court of Appeal (Master of the Rolls, Bean and Flaux LJJ) heard the defendant’s appeal in the data protection case of Various Claimants v W M Morrison Supermarkets. Judgment was reserved.

On 12 October 2018 Deputy Judge Karen Steyn QC handed down judgment in the case of BVC v EWF ([2018] EWHC 2674 (QB)) concerning the jurisdiction of the court in a privacy action against an individual in Switzerland.  Note that the unique case cite contains an error as this is decision in the Queen’s Bench Division, not the Administrative Court.


Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


The Stanford Cyberlaw blog has commentary on the proposed Assistance and Access Bill. The focus of this is the Bill’s approach to computer security in light of its potential to grant powers to obtain encrypted data from designated internet service providers, the costs burden of such measures and human rights implications.

Mark Latham, former Labour Leader, substantially reduced the defence filed in the defamation case brought against him by journalist Osman Faruqi.

Lexology has comments on the ongoing Geoffrey Rush defamation case.


Michael Geist has considered developments in the Canadian government’s negotiation of the USMCA, particularly concessions on the issues cultural policy and data localization.

Trinidad and Tobago

Newsday reports that the opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has won a defamation case against a publishing company owned by ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner.

United States

California has implemented new blockchain legislation, a move which has drawn commentary from the Hunton Andrews Kurth Blog.

Privacy International has considered the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportations’ imminent hearing on consumer data privacy, focusing on drawing elements from European and Californian legislative frameworks.

With the European Commission’s annual review of the EU-US Privacy-Shield imminent Pogowasright has covered the US Senate’s approval of members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Research and Resources

Internet and Social Media

Data Protection and Privacy

Next Week in the Courts 

The trial of the next tranche of News Group Newspapers phone hacking cases, Various v News Group Newspapers is due to begin on 15 October 2018 before Mann J.

The libel trial in the case of Doyle v Smith will begin on the same day before Warby J.  The claim form and Particulars of Claim are available on Lawtel [£].

On 17 or 18 October 2018 the Court of Appeal (Underhill V-P, Sharp and Sales LJJ) will hear the appeal in the case of Butt v The Secretary of State for the Home Department an appeal from Nicol J [2017] EWHC 2619 (QB).

On 18 October 2018 there will be an application in the case of Ward v McGovern.


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).

Various Claimants v W M Morrison Supermarkets, heard 9 to 11 October 2018 (Master of the Rolls, Bean and Flaux LJJ).

This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law.