The Ada Lovelace Institute has published an independent review of the UK’s regulation of biometric technologies, authored by Matthew Ryder QC, which found that the UK requires “an ambitious new legislative framework specific to biometrics,” as the current regulatory regime is “fragmented, confused and failing to keep pace.”
Proposed data reforms intend to address law enforcements’ use of biometric data, but the proposal does not go in-depth on general biometric deployments, TechCrunch reports.
The High Court has ruled that security and intelligence services must obtain “prior independent authorisation” to access individuals’ communication data from telecommunications companies (Liberty v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1630 (Admin)). Held, it was illegal for MI5, MI6 and the Government Communications Headquarters to request personal communication without prior approval by a judge or from the Office for Communications Data Authorisations during criminal investigations. The ruling came as the latest challenge to a portion of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Liberty has hailed the judgment as a “landmark victory.” The Guardian has more information here.
On 27 June 2022, there was a pre-trial review in Millett v Corbyn before Nicklin J. The trial is listed for 15 days, beginning on 10 October 2022. Read 5RB’s summary of the issues here.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Media Literacy has called for a new Media Literacy Education Bill. The LSE Media Blog has an article that assesses the findings and recommendations.
Internet and Social Media
TikTok has confirmed that some of its China-based employees can access information from American users. The revelations came in a letter to nine US senators who accused TikTok and its parent ByteDance Ltd of monitoring US citizens. Bloomberg has more information here and here.
Art, Music and Copyright
The government has released its response to a consultation on the use of artificial intelligence in the context of intellectual property, copyright and patents. The consultation focused on AI’s effects on copyright protection for computer-generated works, licensing or exceptions to copyright for text and data mining, and patent protection for AI-powered inventions. According to the government’s review of comments, respondents believe AI is “still in its early stages” or “not yet advanced enough to invent without human intervention.” Read IPKat’s summary here.
The Bored Apes Yacht Club is suing Ryder Ripps, a conceptual artist and NFT creator for trade mark infringement, unfair competition, false advertising and cybersquatting. IPKat has the details.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
Privacy International has published its response to DCMS’ Online Advertising Programme consultation in the UK, which aims to “to tackle the evident lack of transparency and accountability across the whole supply chain.”
Read Percy Preston’s (Brett Wilson LLP) interview about the May 2022 High Court’s decision in Smith and others v TalkTalk Telecom Group plc  EWHC 1311 (QB).
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The BBC has apologised and agreed to pay a “significant sum” to a former Panorama journalist who alerted the broadcaster to suspicions over the way Martin Bashir secured his 1995 interview with Princess Diana, who was labelled a troublemaker, the Press Gazette reports.
The ongoing trial of Christopher Aitken, Martin Hockridge, Djazia Chaib-Eddour, Alexander Peat, and Gary Purnell, who deny using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress against BBC journalist Nicholas Watt during an anti-lockdown protest is covered by the Press Gazette here and here.
- 11471-21 Phillips v Mail Online, 1 Accuracy (2021), 2 Privacy (2021), 3 Harassment (2021), 4 Intrusion into grief or shock (2021), 12 Discrimination (2021), 14 Confidential sources (2021), 15 Witness payments in criminal trials (2021), 10 Clandestine devi
New Issued Cases
There were three defamation (libel and slander) claims and one application for permission for a statement to be read in open court filed on the media and communication last week.
Last Week in the Courts
As mentioned above, on 27 June 2022 there was a pre-trial review in Millett v Corbyn before Nicklin J, and the same judge also heard an application in the libel claim of Amersi v Leslie.
On the same day, judgement was given for the defendant in Goldsmith v Bissett-Powell  EWHC 1591 (QB) by Julian Knowles J (heard on 13 January 2022). The claimant was not identifiable from the Facebook posts complained of, nor had they had suffered serious harm as a result. It was assumed in the claimant’s favour that the defendant was responsible for statements made by third parties on Facebook under s.5 Defamation Act 2013 as the operator/administrator of the Facebook page in question, despite the lack of authority relating to Facebook administrators and whether they fall within s.5 . Alternatively, the defences of truth and public interest were made out [175-6]. Further, the defendant was able to rely on s.5(2) in respect of the third party posts made by named individuals, so that the defence is not defeated by s.5(3). There was also no evidence of malice such as would defeat the defence per s.5(11) .
Also on 27 June 2022, the claim for malicious falsehood and defamation in Ruta v Department for Work And Pensions  EWHC 1535 (QB) was struck out by Master Cook. The claim related to a letter sent to the claimant from the defendant’s Unacceptable Behaviour [UCB] Team, which effectively served as a warning to the claimant for “threatening and intimidating” a Department for Work and Pensions staff member. The claim was out of limitation and there was no reason as to why section 32A of the Limitation Act 1980 should apply. Alternatively, the claimant failed to establish that she had suffered serious harm as a result of the statements complained of.
On the same day, judgment in default was awarded to the claimant in Mussarat v Worldview Media Network Ltd  EWHC 1604 (QB) by Deputy Master Toogood QC. The Defendant is neither present nor represented. The claim related to a number of statements made on a programme broadcast on the channel “Republic Bharat” on 22 July 2020, for which the defendant holds the license to broadcast. Despite not being the author, editor or publisher of the statement complained of, the defendant implemented a delay of several hours from the original broadcast in India to conduct pre-broadcast checks to assess and ensure the suitability of content, which satisfied the court that they had jurisdiction.
On 28 June 2022, there was a trial of a preliminary issue on meaning in the case in the case of Emmy Tayler v Harpercollins Publishers Limited before Pepperall J.
On 29 June 2022, there were applications in ABC and Others v London Borough of Lambeth and Others v London Borough of Lambeth before Nicklin J.
On 30 June 2022, there were applications in the case of Tewari v Khetrapal & Ors before Collins Rice J.
On the same day HHJ Henson QC lifted an order made under s45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which had forbidden the media from identifying George and Archie Tilley. The Tilley brothers (aged 13 and 14 respectively at the time of the attack) were convicted of GBH with intent for a violent attack on Easter Sunday 2021. Held, it was in the interests of justice to lift the restriction and grant the Sun’s application to lift the s.45 order. Read the 5RB summary here.
On 1 July 2022, summary judgment was given in favour of the defendants in Haviland v Lownie  EWHC 1688 (QB) by Murray J. Haviland used to work for/with the first (The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Ltd) and second (Lownie) defendants. The claim arose from five emails sent by Lownie to the website operators of websites used by Haviland to offer his freelance services, which objected to certain entries Haviland had included on his profiles, including an endorsement from Lownie. Murray found the meaning of the emails to did not meet the serious harm threshold. Read the 5RB summary here. Read the Brett Wilson Blog summary here.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
Judgment was handed down in favour of the applicant in CURTIS v JASON VICTOR BISHOP TRADING AS CANBERRA NOTICE BOARD (Civil Dispute)  ACAT 59 over defamatory material that was published on the Canberra Notice Board Facebook group between 15 June 2020 to 15 July 2020.
The defendant’s motion for summary judgment is dismissed in Canadian Union of Postal Workers v. Quebecor Media Inc. et al, 2022 ONSC 3749.
The Canadian federal government introduced Bill C-27: Digital Charter Implementation Act 2022, which aims to implement Canada’s first artificial intelligence legislation, the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act; reform Canadian privacy law, replacing the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act with the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, and; establish a tribunal specific to privacy and data protection. The Norton Rose Fulbright Data Protection report has a summary here.
The plaintiffs application to dismiss the Defence and Cross-Demand filed by defendant on the basis that the procedures were unreasonable, excessive and abusive was dismissed in Wintermark c. Khouzam, 2022 QCCS 2299 (CanLII).
The appeal was allowed in Law Society of British Columbia v. Harding, 2022 BCCA 229 (CanLII). The LSBC erred in its approach in not considering the full context of the appellant’s in-court statements and whether they were made in good faith and with a reasonable basis. The LSBC also erred in its approach to the appellant’s statements made to a journalist, as its findings were based on its erroneous approach to the in-court statements, and it failed to consider Charter values of freedom of expression.
Some mobile phone companies in Germany are participating in a trial that assigns users pseudo-anonymous digital tokens to create personalized product recommendations in a “secure and privacy-friendly way,” instead of using third-party tracking cookies, Wired reports.
Italy’s data protection authority (“Garante”) has determined that a website’s use of the audience measurement tool Google Analytics is not compliant with the EU GDPR, as the tool transfers personal data to the United States, which does not offer an adequate level of data protection. In making this determination, the Garante joins other EU data protection authorities, including the French and Austrian regulators, that have also found use of the tool to be unlawful. The Privacy and Information Security Law Blog has more information here.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued the Combatting Online Harms Through Innovation report that urges policymakers and other stakeholders to exercise “great caution” about relying on artificial intelligence to combat harmful online content. The Privacy and Information Security Law Blog has more information here.
Google has announced that it will delete location data after people visit abortion clinics, domestic violence shelters and other sensitive locations. The update will take effect in the coming weeks.
The online abortion pill provider Hey Jane has come under fire for its use of tracking tools that sent users’ data to companies like Google and Facebook. PogoWasRight has more information here.
Research and Resources
- Gligorijevic, Jelena, Book Review: A Free and Regulated Press: Defending Coercive Independent Press Regulation by Paul Wragg (2022) Sydney Law Review 44(2) (advance)
- Wasiq, Mohammad Rasikh, Legal Regime on Freedom of Speech and Expression with Special Reference to Sedition Law under India, the United Kingdom,and the United States of America (2022), INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CREATIVE RESEARCH THOUGHTS – IJCRT Volume 10(6)
- Mukhopadhyay, Devdutta and Gupta, Apar, Jammu & Kashmir Internet Restrictions Cases: A Missed Opportunity to Redefine Fundamental Rights in the Digital Age (2020), Indian Journal of Constitutional Law 2020
- Karanicolas, Michael, Authoritarianism as a Service: India’s Moves to Weaponize Private Sector Content Moderation with the 2021 Information Technology Rules (2022) Indian Journal of Law & Technology (Forthcoming)
- Li, Zihao, Affinity-Based Algorithmic Pricing: A Dilemma for EU Data Protection Law (2022), Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 46
- Goldsmith, Jack Landman and Volokh, Eugene, State Regulation of Online Behavior: The Dormant Commerce Clause and Geolocation (2022), Texas Law Review, Forthcoming
- Marcus, Nancy C., Yes, Alito, There Is a Right to Privacy: Why the Leaked Dobbs Opinion Is Doctrinally Unsound (2022), California Western School of Law
Next Week in the Courts
On 4 July 2022 there will be a directions hearing in the case of Dental Centre Turkey UK Limited and another v Morley before Nicklin J.
On the same day there will be a trial in the case of Shah v Ahmed before Collins Rice J.
On 7 July 2022 Pepperall J will hear an application in the case of Daedone v BBC.
On 8 July 2022 Nicklin J will hand down judgment in the case of The Duke of Sussex v Associated Newspapers (heard on 9 June 2022).
On the same day Collins Rice J will hand down judgment in the case of Soriano v Societe D’Exploitation De L’Hebdomadaire Le Point.
Tayler v HarperCollins, heard on 28 June 2022 (Pepperall J)
Robert Lee v Vanessa Brown, heard on 20-24 June 2022 (Collins Rice J)
George v Cannell, heard on 14 June 2022 (Underhill V-P, Warby and Snowden LLJ)
Wright v McCormack, heard on 23 May 2022 (Chamberlain J).
Vardy v Rooney, heard on 10-13 , and 16, 17 and 19 May 2022 (Steyn J).
BW Legal Services v Trustpilot A/S, heard 17 and 18 May 2022 (Tipples J)
LCG v. OVD, heard on 4 May 2022 (Murray J).
XXX v Persons Unknown , heard on 12 April 2022 (Chamberlain J).
Driver v Crown Prosecution Service, heard on 8 December 2021 (Julian Knowles J).
Masarir v Kingdom of Saudi Arabia., heard 15 and 16 June 2021 (Julian Knowles J).
This Round Up was compiled by Colette Allen who is the host of Newscast on Dr Thomas Bennett and Professor Paul Wragg’s The Media Law Podcast (@MediaLawPodcast).
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