Football pundit Gary Lineker has returned to live presenting of the BBC’s football coverage after a temporary suspension while he was investigated for breaching impartiality rules. Lineker was told to step back from hosting Match Of The Day last week after he published a tweet criticising a new government migrant policy.
It prompted a mass walkout of other stars across BBC Sport, meaning Football Focus was axed and Match Of The Day only aired for 20 minutes with no commentary or punditry. Inforrm had an article on what the Lineker debacle reveals about how the BBC functions in the social media age.
Further fall out from the Lineker furore has resulted in LBC presenter James O’Brien taking legal advice following a “vile and obvious” libel made by Talk Radio host Mike Graham. Graham posted a tweet aimed at O’Brien and triggered by O’Brien’s support for Lineker, in which he called O’Brien “an utter paedo apologist and plank.” The London Economic has more information here.
Former president of the National Union of Students (NUS) Shaima Dallali has commenced Employment Tribunal proceedings against the NUS following her dismissal on 1 November 2022. Dallali has deeply held, publicly-articulated beliefs on the right of Palestinians to live free of occupation; beliefs that are protected for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. She has publicly articulated those beliefs, just as she has consistently and repeatedly condemned antisemitism. Complaints to the NUS following her election were to the effect that her past articulation of her anti-Zionist beliefs amounted to antisemitism. In a press release statement, Dallali contends that it was “upon receipt of these complaints, (that) the NUS began the process that would lead to Ms Dallali’s dismissal.”
Internet and Social Media
The Centre for Internet and Society blog has an article explaining the changing liability landscape for artificial intelligence (AI), describing in what circumstances an AI company can be held liable in the US or EU for malfunctioning AI.
The Cyberleagle blog has an article on the five lessons that can be learnt from the French Constitutional Council’s decision to strike down the core provisions of Loi Avia, France’s equivalent of the German NetzDG law, and the relevance for the UK’s Online Safety Bill.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The HawkTalk blog has published its response to the new Data Protection and Digital Information (No 2) Bill, arguing that the Bill should be paused until the UK Bill of Rights position has been resolved.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has produced new guidance to help UX designers, product managers and software engineers embed data protection into their products and services from the creation.
On 15 March 2023, the ICO published its response to Sir Patrick Vallance’s Pro-Innovation Regulation of Technologies Review. Read the statement here.
The ICO has reached an agreement with Easylife Ltd to reduce the monetary penalty notice, issued for breaching the GDPR, to £250,000. Easylife accepts the ICO’s findings and has agreed to pay the reduced fine.
The ICO has issued a reprimand to the Metropolitan Police Service following several issues identified around their uploading, amending and deleting of various criminal intelligence files relating to Organised Crime Groups.
Ransomware gang ALPHV is alleged to have stolen data from Amazon’s smart doorbell company Ring. The cybersecurity group VX Underground discovered the stolen data posted on the group’s data forum. Ring officials said they did not have evidence of a breach, but said a third-party vendor was hit with a ransomware attack. Vice has more information here.
BBC advises staff against using TikTok on work devices unless for “editorial and marketing.” The BBC said staff should have a “justified business reason” to install TikTok on work phones. The BBC said the decision was “based on concerns raised by government authorities worldwide regarding data privacy and security.” The Press Gazette has more information here.
PimEyes, a tool purporting to help people track their web presence, has been accused of scraping images of deceased persons to populate its database. Wired has more information here.
Edits are being made to the children’s writer Roald Dahl’s books to remove language deemed offensive by the publisher Puffin. Puffin has hired sensitivity readers to rewrite chunks of the author’s text to make sure the books “can continue to be enjoyed by all today”, resulting in extensive changes across Dahl’s work. Some commenters have argued it is wrong to rewrite the words of an author, living or dead, without the author’s permission. The Conversation had an article explaining the copyright implications.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The Hacked Off blog has published its latest post in the Above the Law series, which asks if newspapers have become above the law. Read the interview with Emma Morgan about her experience with the “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood and Merdoch’s News of the World.
The chief executive of broadcast regulator Ofcom Dame Melanie Dawes has said Tory MPs can present shows on GB News provided there is a range of opinion represented. Dawes gave the caveat that it depended on whether the programme in question was defined as a news show or a discussion offering. This followed the debate over whether Conservative MPs Esther McVey and Philip Davies should have been allowed to interview Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt for GB News ahead of the Spring Budget. The Press Gazette has more information here.
- 00514-22 Kiehlmann v Scottish Mail on Sunday, 1 Accuracy (2021), 2 Privacy (2021), 10 Clandestine devices and subterfuge (2021), Breach – sanction: publication of correction
- 10375-22 Jones v nottinghampost.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2021), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication
- 12028-22 Cook v northwichguardian.co.uk, 9 Reporting of Crime (2021), 4 intrusion into grief or shock (2021), 2 Privacy (2021), 1 Accuracy (2021), No breach – after investigation
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
There were no statements in open court or apologies made last week.
New Issued Cases
There was one defamation (libel and slander), one data protection claim, one breach of privacy claim and one miscellaneous claim filed on the media and communications list last week.
Last Week in the Courts
On 13 and 14 March 2023, Nicklin J heard an application in the case of IS Prime Limited v Siddiqui and another.
On 13 March 2023, judgment was handed down on the issue of contempt of court in the case of Frati v Bowen Carter in favour of the claimant. Karen Bowen Carter was fined £1,200 for breaching an undertaking not to contact Harley Street surgeon Dr Riccardo Frati’s patients during the ongoing harassment case. Bowen Carter was also ordered to pay Dr Frati’s legal costs. Dr Frati’s claim for harassment relates to a series of posts and messages Bowen Carter, a former patient of Dr Frati herself, made online that are critical of Frati’s practice. In 2021, Bowen Carter agreed to an undertaking not to contact him, his staff or patients. Farbey J found Bowen Carter in contempt of court for contacting four of his patients. The Times and Daily Mail cover the judgment.
On Thursday 16 March 2023 there were hearings in the cases of Packham CBE v Wightman and Others and Otantik Restoran Ve Otelcilik Hiz AS and another v Behiry.
On Friday 17 March 2023, an application to strike out/summary judgment was made before Nicklin J in Duke of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Limited. The 5RB summary of the case so far can be found here. The Press Gazette covers the hearing here.
On the same day, there were hearings in the cases of 2 Wakefield Limited v Persons Unknown, Clarke v Rose and Wolverhampton City Council v Kevin Poole.
On Friday 17 March 2023, judgment on costs was handed down by Friedman J in Musst Holdings Ltd v Astra Asset Management UK Ltd & Anor (Re Costs)  EWHC 595 (Ch).
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
The defamation case brought by Bruce Lehrmann against Brittany Higgins’ over her allegations of rape began last week. The Sydney Morning Herald, News.com, Guardian and Brisbane Times cover the developments of the trial so far. The Law Society Journal explains the legal issues in the Lehrmann defamation case here.
The Canadian government plans to introduce a motion requiring Google and Facebook to turn over years of private third-party communication involving any Canadian regulation. The move represents an escalation of its battle against the two tech companies for opposing Bill C-18. The Michael Geist blog has more information here.
A recent survey on “sharenting” has revealed that 69% of Czech parents share information about their children/grandchildren online. The Czech Defamation Law Blog has an article exploring the legal implications of this reality.
On 15 March 2023, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office finalised the rules implementing the Colorado Privacy Act. The rules will be published in the Colorado Register later this month and will go into effect on 1 July 2023, when the CPA takes effect. The Privacy and Information Law blog has more information here.
The BBC has an article examining the evidence produced for Dominion Voting Systems $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which argues the testimonies of dozens of Fox executives and journalists pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the powerful conservative cable network in the days after the 2020 US presidential election.
Research and Resources
- Dvoskin, Brenda, Speaking Back to Sexual Privacy Invasions (2023), Washington Law Review, Vol. 98
- Silbey, Jessica M., Four Privacy Stories and Two Hard Cases (2022), Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 37(2)
- Perreault, Gregory, The Problem of Definition Makers (2023), University of South Florida; Appalachian State University
- Erdos, David, An Accurate Thumbnail of European Data Protection and Search Engine Indexing? Exploring C-460/20 TU, RE v Google LLC (2023), University of Cambridge – Faculty of Law; Trinity Hall
- Khattar, Perla, What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You – Fighting the Privacy Paradox By Designing for Privacy and Enforcing Protective Technology (2022), Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts
- Citron, Danielle Keats, Intimate Privacy in a Post-Roe World (2023), Florida Law Review, Forthcoming, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper
- Stalla-Bourdillon, Sophie, What Fixing the New Identifiability Test Set Forth within the UK Data Protection Digital Information Bill Could Look Like (2023), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB); University of Southampton
- Pearce, Russell G., Legal Education and Technology: The Potential to Democratize Legal Knowledge and Power (2023). Latin American Law Review n.º 10, Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper
- Hartzog, Woodrow and Selinger, Evan and Gunawan, Johanna, Privacy Nicks: How the Law Normalizes Surveillance (2023), 101 Washington University Law Review
- Silbey, Jessica M., Questions of Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Digital Age (2023), Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review
- Singh Dhapwal, Anubha, Interface Between Right To Privacy and Public Interest: A Study (2022), National Law Institute University, Bhopal
- Gafurova, Robiya and Mardieva, Laylo and Rahimova, Nargizabonu and Nuriddinova, Nodira, Rights of Data Subjects in the UK and the EU (2023), Unknown
Next Week in the Courts
On 20 March 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of Collins v Crossrail Limited and others.
On 20 and 21 March 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of MBR Acres Limited and others v FREE THE MBR BEAGLES (formerly Stop Animal Cruelty Huntingdon).
On 21 and 22 March 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of Prismall v (1) Google (2) Deep Mind.
On 23 March 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of Otantik Restoran Ve Otelcilik Hiz AS and another v Behiry.
On 24 March 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of Hayden v Family Education Trust.
Duke of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Limited, heard 17 March 2023 (Nicklin J)
AEP and others v The Labour Party, 21 to 23 February 2023 (Chamberlain J)
Hay v Cresswell, heard 20 to 23 February 2023 (Heather Williams J)
Amersi v Leslie, heard 10 January 2023 (Nicklin J)
Aaronson v Stones, heard 12-15 December 2022 (Julian Knowles J)
LCG v OVD, heard on 4 May 2022 (Murray 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).