On 13 and 14 November 2018 Supreme Court heard the appeal in the crucial “serious harm” case of Lachaux v Independent Print Limited. The three sessions can be watched on the Supreme Court website. The Press Gazette has a short report on the arguments advanced by the parties in the case. Judgment was reserved.
On 14 November 2018 the Government published its draft text for Brexit negotiations following finalising discussions with EU stakeholders. The Panopticon Blog has an excellent analysis of the data protection implications of the draft text as does Lexology.
The Australian actor, Rebel Wilson, was refused permission to take her case to the High Court of Australia. She had been awarded A$4.7 million by the judge but the award was reduced on appeal to A$600,000. There were reports, inter alia, on the BBC website, ABC News and in the Guardian.
The second episode of Media Law Podcast has a debate between Dr Thomas Bennett and Dr Paul Wragg under the title “Invasion of Privacy – What’s the harm?”
Internet and Social Media
The Independent reported an incident which occurred on 12 November 2018 resulted in Google’s internet traffic being run through China and Russia.
Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog has analysed the development of anti-piracy frameworks and the regulation of speech online.
The engadget website has a post entitled “Google Maps keeps track of your conversations with local businesses”.
Computing.co.uk covers the matter of internet security and how developments in policy and cybersecurity frameworks are urgently needed.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The PwC Data Protection Blog has a post on the GDPR analysing its impact post-implementation.
The European Commission has urged governments not to misuse the EU data protection regulation to silence investigative journalists.
The Cearta.ie Blog has covered a report by CBSN’s 60 minutes which analyses the impact of the GDPR on technology companies.
Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog has reported on the development of technology companies in resisting and evading government regulation as well as protection consumers from governments, characterising them as “Digital Switzerland’s”. The blog also notes the capacity of Amazon Echo and Google Home to store users’ voice recordings and the potential of this function for misuse.
IP Kat has an insightful post examining a recent Q&A with IP and technology-oriented members of the Bench.
Pinsent Mason’s Outlaw Blog has discussed the challenges of implementing equal opportunity monitoring.
The ICO has been investigating the Metropolitan Police Service’s (“MPS”) Gangs Matrix to ensure that the database was fit for purpose and its use of data proportionate. As a result the ICO has issued an Enforcement Notice compelling MPS to make changes to its data protection practices within six months. A summary of the findings can be found here.
The ICO has conducted its first prosecution under s.1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 against a motor industry individual who look the personal data of customers and used them in his new workplace.
The Financial Times [£] has covered the recent implementation of a surveillance system for the US stock market.
Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation
Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog covers the phenomena of “deep fakes” in the news media.
The Index on Censorship has published a report into influences on the media. The Press Gazette has analysed the elements of the report which focused on the UK media.
Sean Dodson has considered, in an INFORRM post, how new media sources from the mainstream media, thereby recycling coverage.
A journalist has been successful in overturning a request for anonymity made by a pair of far-right activists who named their child Adolf, the Press Gazette reports.
The Gazette has also covered multiple allegations of fraud against the owner of the International Business Times.
Three rulings and a resolution statement have been published by IPSO’s Complaints Committee this week:
- 03480-18 Nottingham City Council v The Sun, provision 1 (accuracy), no breach after investigation
- 04498-18 Handling v The Scottish Sun, provisions 1, 2 (privacy) and 4 (intrusion into grief or shock)
- 04743-18 Sykes v Huddersfield Examiner, provisions 1 and 4, no breach after investigation
- Resolution Statement 06660-18 Rix v Southern Daily Echo, provisions 1, 2 ,10 (clandestine devices and subterfuge) and 14 (confidential sources), resolved via IPSO mediation
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
We are not aware of any statements in the case in the last week.
Last Week in the Courts
On Tuesday 13 November 2018 there was a hearing in the Privy Council (Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lady Black, Lords Briggs and Kitchin) of an Isle of Man libel appeal, Nugent v Willers. The hearing can be watched on the Privy Council website. Judgment was reserved.
As already mentioned, the Lachaux appeal will be heard by the UK Supreme Court on 13 and 14 November 2018.
On 14, 15 and 16 November 2018 Mann J heard a CMC in the third wave of phone hacking cases against the News of the World and the Sun, Various v News Group Newspapers Ltd.
- Stanford internet and society lab – secret dockets, secret searches, 27 November 2018, 12:50 – 13:50, Room 320D, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA
- Internet & Digital Media Law Conference 2018, London, 5 December 2018
- Protecting the Media Conference, London, 4 December 2018
- What happened to the “golden era of free speech”?, 6 December 2018, 16:00 – 17:00, Marine’s Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA
- Book Launch and Expert Panel Discussion: Law, Policy and the Internet, 13 December 2018, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
As already mentioned, the actor Rebel Wilson has lost her application for permission to appeal to the High Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision to reduce her damages award.
ABC News has a piece with the headline ‘Defamation is back big time’, says senior judge, but warns victories may be Pyrrhic quoting Judge Judith Gibson of the NSW District Court. She notes that there is a rise in #MeToo defamation cases which, she suggests, that the legal system is not equipped to handle.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has held a series of hearings initial consultation on the Telecommunication & Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance & Access) Bill 2018. Stanford’s Cyberlaw blog has published supplemental comments and discussed its testimony.
CBC has highlighted comments made by the UK Information Commissioner regarding Canadian political parties’ data handling practices.
The Economic Times has highlighted concerns in the development of India’s privacy laws, particularly cross border privacy rules.
The Times of Malta reports that a pet groomer who was defamed in Facebook posts by a former customer has been awarded libel damages of €1,000.
The same newspaper reports that press freedom organisations have reiterated “serious concerns” about freedom of expression in Malta.
The Press Gazette has covered the story that a Moroccan prince has secured damages and an apology from a London based Arabic news site after defamatory allegations were published about his ascendency.
In the US the media has reported the unprecedented move of CNN to sue President Donald Trump. CNN’s actions come following the White House’s removal of their correspondents, Jim Acosta’s, press pass after he asked a series of questions the President disapproved of. The move highlights a significant move in the debate between free speech, presidential power and accountability. See the Press Gazette for coverage, including that Fox News allegedly supports CNN’s case.
The US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has received a response from the EU Commission in the course of its consultation on a new consumer privacy law, the comments can be found here.
Blog Law Online considers the application of South Carolina’s Freedom of Information law. The Blog has also highlighted the recent Supreme Court case of Carpenter v United States, which clarified the governments’ powers to obtain cell phone records via warrants.
In a re-post from The Privacy Perspective Blog, Suneet Sharma unpicks calls for the implementation of a federal privacy law in the United States.
The National Business Review and its publisher Todd Scott may be launching a defamation action against Newsroom. The article from Newsroom states that the allegations are in relation to a column run by Newsroom outlining a legal complaint made in relation to an NBR column.
Research and Resources
Data Protection and Data Privacy
- Privacy as a Human Right in the Digital Age: In Quest of a Safer Protection Regime in Bangladesh, Muhammad Omar Faruque, Daffodil International University and Md. Habibullah, American International University, Bangladesh
- Your Spying Smart Phone: Individual Privacy Is Narrowly Strengthened in Carpenter v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Most Recent Fourth Amendment Ruling, Vania Chaker, Independent
- ‘Modernised’ data protection Convention 108 and the GDPR, Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law
- Acquisitions in the Third Party Tracking Industry: Competition and Data Protection Aspects, Reuben Binns, University of Oxford and Elettra Bietti, Harvard Law School
- California’s Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA): A Case Study in Legislative Regulation of Surveillance, Susan Freiwald, University of San Francisco School of Law
Next Week in the Courts
On 19 November 2018 there will be a second PTR in the case of ZXC v Bloomberg before Nicklin J.
On 20 and 21 November 2018 there will be a hearing in the case of LCA v C J de Mooi.
On 20 November 2018 Sharp LJ will hear an application for an injunction in the case of RXG v Times Newspapers Ltd.
On Wednesday 21 November 2018 the Court of Appeal (Lewison, Ryder and Sharp LJJ) will hand down judgment in the case of Economou v Freitas (heard 17 and 18 April 2018).
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
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 and Asplin LJJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).
Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 17 October 2018 (Underhill V-P, Sharp LJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).
Nugent v Willers, heard 13 November 2018 (Privy Council)
Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 13 and 14 November 2018 (UKSC)
This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law.