Inforrm reported on a large number of privacy and data protection cases in 2018. In January 2017 we published a widely read post on “Data Protection: Overview of the Case Law in 2017”. In this post we round up some of the most legally and factually interesting privacy and data protection cases from England and Europe from the past year.
- Cliff Richard v. The British Broadcasting Corporation  EWHC 1837 (Ch).
This was Sir Cliff Richard’s privacy claim against the BBC and was the highest profile privacy of the year. The claimant was awarded damages of £210,000. We had a case preview and case reports on each day of the trial and posts from a number of commentators including Paul Wragg, Thomas Bennett (first and second), Jelena Gligorijević. The BBC subsequently announced that it would not seek permission to appeal.
- ABC v Telegraph Media Group Ltd  EWCA Civ 2329.
This was perhaps the second most discussed privacy case of the year. The Court of Appeal allowed the claimants’ appeal and granted an interim injunction to prevent the publication of confidential information about alleged “discreditable conduct” by a high profile executive. Lord Hain subsequently named the executive as Sir Philip Green. We had a case comment from Persephone Bridgman Baker. We also had comments criticising Lord Hain’s conduct from Paul Wragg, Robert Craig and Tom Double.
- Ali v Channel 5 Broadcast ( EWHC 298 (Ch)).
The claimants had featured in a “reality TV” programme about bailiffs, “Can’t pay? We’ll Take it Away”. Their claim for misuse of private information was successful and damages of £20,000 were awarded. We had a case comment from Zoe McCallum. An appeal and cross appeal was heard on 4 December 2018 and judgment is awaited.
- NT1 and NT2 v Google Inc  3 WLR 1165.
This was the first “right to be forgotten” claim in the English Courts – with claims in both data protection and privacy. Both claimants had spent convictions – one was successful and the other not. We had a case preview from Aidan Wills and a comment on the case from Iain Wilson,
- Lloyd v Google LLC  EWHC 2599 (QB).
This was an attempt to bring a “representative action” in data protection on behalf of all iPhone users in respect of the “Safari Workaround”. The representative claimant was refused permission to serve Google out of the jurisdiction. We had a case comment from Rosalind English. There was a Panopticon Blog post the case. The claimant has been given permission to appeal and it is likely that the appeal will be heard in late 2019.
- TLU v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2217.
The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal in a “data leak” case on the issue of liability to individuals affected by a data leak but not specifically named in the leaked document. We had a case comment from Lorna Skinner and further comment from Iain Wilson. There was also a Panopticon Blog post.
- Stunt v Associated Newspapers  EWCA Civ 170.
The Court of Appeal referred the question of whether the “journalistic exemption” in section 32(4) of the Data Protection Act 1998 is compatible with the Data Protection Directive and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to the CJEU. There was a Panopticon Blog post on the case.
- Various Claimants v W M Morrison Supermarkets plc  EWCA Civ 2339.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Langstaff J that Morrisons were vicariously liable for a mass data breach caused by the criminal act of a rogue employee. We had a case comment from Alex Cochrane. There was a Panopticon Blog post the case.
- Big Brother Watch v. Secretary of State  ECHR 722.
An important case in which the European Court of Human Rights held that secret surveillance regimes including the bulk interception of external communications violated Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. We had a post by Graham Smith as to the implications of this decision for the present regime.
- ML and WW v Germany( ECHR 554).
This was the first case in the European Court of Human Rights on the “right to be forgotten”. This was an application under Article in respect of the historic publication by the media of information concerning a murder conviction. The application was dismissed. We had a case comment from Hugh Tomlinson and Aidan Wills. There was also a Panopticon blog post on the case.