On 1 May 2020 Warby J remotely handed down the judgement in Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers  EWHC 1058 (Ch), striking out three parts of the particulars of claim alleging that the publisher had acted “dishonestly” by leaving out certain passages of the letter, that the publisher deliberately “stirred up” issues between Meghan and her father, and that it had an “agenda” of publishing intrusive or offensive stories about her.
Warby J said that those allegations should not form part of the Duchess’s case at this stage because they were “irrelevant” to her claim for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act, but he said those parts of her case may be revived at a later stage, if they are put on a proper legal basis. The news was widely covered by the national press, including Byline Investigates, The Guardian and the BBC. Hacked off had a press release.
The Panopticon Blog as a post by Christopher Knight, “Coronavirus: A Regulatory Update” – dealing with the position of the ICO, the EDPB and directions by UK Government agencies.
The Press Gazette had a piece about a Twitter message from a Brighton resident accusing the Daily Express of faking a front-page picture showing crowds on Brighton seafront in breach of Covid-19 lockdown rules. The post (now deleted) received thousands of retweets and the agency behind the photo, South West News, has since gone public with evidence that the photo – which featured on Saturday’s Daily Express front page – was legitimate.
The Council of Europe had a video and a piece “Secretary General: Governments must protect essential role of journalists in democracy, especially in times of crisis”
As usual, all the Courts’ updates on the Coronavirus guidance can be found on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary.
Hacked off had a blog post “The fake news continues!”.
Internet and Social Media
IP Harbour had a post “TikTok owner use Blockchain evidence in Chinese Courts to prove IP Infringement””.
A group of Facebook investors is seeking to remove Mark Zuckerberg as chairman, citing several controversies facing the tech giant, including its dominance in certain markets. The motion for Facebook to take on a new independent chairman to oversee Zuckerberg’s performance as chief executive will be voted on by shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting next month. The Press Gazette had a piece.
The Guardian had a post “YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke’s channel”.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The Panopticon Blog notes that the FTT has extended the general stay on information cases until 27 May 2020.
The Guardian had a piece “Home affairs data breach may have exposed personal details of 700,000 migrants”.
The UK Human Rights Blog had a post on Coronavirus presenting a serious threat to society, legitimising the collection of public health data under Article 9:2 (g) of GDPR regulations, which allows the processing of such data if “necessary for reasons of substantial public interest” and that some of this collection will take the form of contact tracing apps.
DLA Piper Privacy Matters had a post “EU: Europe’s toolbox for building complaint Corona tracking apps”.
Hunton Andrews Kurt had a post on the Philippines National Privacy Commission (“NPC”) issuing a statement that it is investigating several breach notifications it has received relating to the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients (the “Statement”).
Byline Times had a piece “Patrolling Hearts and Minds? A ‘Red Alert’ Surveillance Warning to the World”.
Forbes had a piece on how governments have turned to expanded forms of state surveillance to help fight the Coronavirus outbreak and that the speed at which the pandemic is moving has already led to the rapid implementation of a patchwork of surveillance measures lacking in transparency and oversight.
Open Democracy had a piece “DemocracyWatch: COVID-19 ushers in a new era of surveillance apps”.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
Ofcom has cleared Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan for his “combative” interviews with government ministers amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Press Gazette had a piece.
IPSO has published a number of rulings and resolutions statements since our last Round Up:
Last Week in the Courts
On 28 April 2020 Steyn J handed down judgment in the case Greystoke v The Financial Conduct Authority  EWHC 1011 (QB).
As already mentioned, on 1 May 2020, Warby J handed down judgment in the Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers  EWHC 1058 (Ch).
On the same day Nicklin J handed down judgment in the case of Hanson v Associated Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1048 (QB).
30 September 2020, 5RB Conference, IET Savoy Place.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
In the case of Defteros v Google LLC  VSC 219 a Victorian lawyer who made a name for himself representing members of the Melbourne underworld was awarded $40,000 damages from Google for defamation. He argued that Google’s publication of a 2004 article about his arrest on conspiracy to murder charges – which were later dropped – defamed him. Google was notified of the defamatory article in February 2016, but did not remove it until December 2016. The Guardian had a piece.
Former B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver has been granted an appeal in a defamation lawsuit against a retired geography professor. The B.C. Court of Appeal says a lower court judge erred when he concluded the words used in an article written by Timothy Ball were not defamatory against Weaver, who is also a climate scientist. The defamation claim is based on a 2011 article entitled “Corruption of Climate Science has Created 30 Lost Years” that Ball sent to a website that the court says purported to be a news site. The article referred to Weaver in connection with a field of what is described as “corrupted” climate science, at a time before he entered provincial politics. The Golden Star had a piece.
The Globe and Mail had an article “Peter MacKay issues libel notice over The Post Millennial article on polling“.
There is a report on an order against the Sandwich shop Subway to pay the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) some $765,000 in costs in respect of a November 2019 decision that dismissed Subway’s $210-million defamation lawsuit against the CBC
News Ghana had a piece “The Ghanaian Media: A Muzzled Watchdog?”.
Al Jazeera had a piece “‘Privacy minefield’: India COVID-19 app raises surveillance fears”.
In the case of Jones v Coolmore Stud  IECA 116, the Court of Appeal dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal against the High Court’s refusal of an injunction against the defendant to restrain them writing letters alleging a book was defamatory. There was a report in the Irish Times.
The Irish Times reports on the hearing of an appeal by Aer Lingus against a €387,000 defamation award by a jury to a pilot.
The Times of Israel had an article “Netanyahu slams report implying he has AG followed as ‘libel’”.
The Verge had a piece on a group of Senate Republicans planning to introduce a privacy bill that would regulate the data collected by coronavirus contact tracing apps.
Research and Resources
- Unmasking Anonymous Online Infringers of Personality Rights: Questions Arising in International Contexts, 17 Yearbook of Private International Law pp. 181-208, 2015/2016, Koji Takahashi, Doshisha University Law School.
- Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions, Ololade Oloniyo, Independent
- Controller’ and Processor’s Responsibilities in Biobank Research Under the GDPR, In Santa Slokenberga, Olga Tzartzatou and Jane Reichel (eds) Individual Rights, the Public Interest and Biobanks Research (Springer, Forthcoming), Ana Nordberg, Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden.
- Disrupting the Digital Panopticon: Adopting a Universal Social Networking Protocol to Promote Competition and Freedom of Expression, Mason Marks, Gonzaga University – School of Law; Yale University – Information Society Project; Leiden University, Leiden Law School, Centre for Law and Digital Technologies.
- A Case Study of the Capital One Data Breach, Working Paper CISL# 2020-16, Nelson Novaes Neto MIT Sloan School of Management; IPEN – Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory; Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo (PUCSP), Stuart Madnick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Sloan School of Management, Anchises Moraes G. de Paula, C6 Bank, Natasha Malara Borges, C6 Bank.
- Security and Privacy in Fog Computing Based on Multiparty Computation Using Smart Grid for Privacy Protection, IJETIE Vol. 6, Issue 3, March 2020, Selvamohan Thangavel, Dr.N.G.P. Arts and Science College, Menaka P, Dr.N.G.P. Arts and Science College.
- Security Analysis of Subject Access Request Procedures How to Authenticate Data Subjects Safely When They Request for Their Data, Boniface C., Fouad I., Bielova N., Lauradoux C., Santos C. (2019) Security Analysis of Subject Access Request Procedures. In: Naldi M., Italiano G., Rannenberg K., Medina M., Bourka A. (eds) Privacy Technologies and Policy. APF 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11498. Springer, Coline Boniface, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis – INRIA – Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, Imane Fouad, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis – INRIA – Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, Nataliia Bielova, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis – INRIA – Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, Cédric Lauradoux, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis – INRIA – Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, Cristiana Santos, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis – INRIA – Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique.
- Protecting Privacy in the Era of Artificial Intelligence, Keyur Tripathi, Galgotias University, School of Law, Usama Mubarak, Galgotias University.
- Data Protection Impact Assessment for the Corona App, Kirsten Bock, Independent, Christian Ricardo Kühne, Independent, Rainer Mühlhoff, Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin); Freie Universität Berlin, Měto R. Ost, Independent, Jörg Pohle, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Rainer Rehak, WZB Berlin Social Science Center; Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society.
- The Court of Justice – Legal Reasoning, the Rule of Law and Data Protection, UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper No. 8/2020, Paul Gallagher, UCD School of Law, Stephen Brittain, affiliation not provided to SSRN
Next Week in the Courts
On 5 and 6 May 2020 there will be a trial of the data protection case of Greystoke v Financial Conduct Authority.
On 6 May 2020 the Court of Appeal (Flaux, Popplewell and Dingemans LJJ) will hear the appeal in the case of Wright v Ver. This is against a judgment of Nicklin J on 31 July 2019 ( EWHC 2094 (QB))(see our case comment here).
On 6 and 7 May 2020 there will be a hearing in the breach of confidence and misuse of private information case of Barclay v Barclay before Warby J. There was a judgment on an application for an interim non-disclosure order on 24 February 2020 ( EWHC 424 (QB)).
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
Notting Hill Genesis v Ali., heard 22 April 2020 (Nicol J)
Tinkler v Ferguson & ors, heard 31 March and 1 April 2020 (Nicklin J)
Aven v Orbis Business Intelligence, heard 16 to 19 March 2020 (Warby J)
Serafin v Malkiewicz, heard 17 and 18 March 2020 (UKSC)
JQL v NTP, heard 17 to 20 March 2020 (HHJ Lewis, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge).
ZXC v Bloomberg, heard 3 and 4 March 2020 (Underhill, Bean and Simon LJJ)
Sube v News Group Newspapers, heard 4 to 7 February 2020 (Warby J)
Please let us know if there are other reserved judgments which should be added to this list.
This Round Up was compiled by Nataly Tedone who is a media and entertainment paralegal.
NOTE TO READERS
The Coronavirus lockdown is an ideal time for Inforrm readers to compose all those blog posts they have been thinking about for many months but been too busy to write. This is an ideal opportunity to keep in touch with the media law world. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org