Unnamed family members entitled to damages for Home Office immigration data leak

In The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor v TLU & Anor [2018] EWCA Civ 2217 the Court of Appeal, was asked to review one aspect of Mr Justice Mitting’s decision in TLT & Ors v The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2016] EWHC 2217 (QB). The first instance decision (discussed at our blog here) considered a number of important issues relating largely to the assessment of quantum in “data leak” cases, including whether damages for accidental leaks should be assessed in the same way as deliberate privacy breaches (no), whether there was a de minimis principle in such cases (yes) and whether regard had to paid to the objective “rationality” of the level of distress pleaded (yes). However, the appeal (brought by the Defendant Home Office) was restricted to the issue of any liability owed to individuals affected by a data leak, but not specifically named in a leaked electronic document.

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Claimants entitled to issue privacy proceedings in the Chancery Division

In the recent case of Mezvinsky & Anor v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2018] EWHC 1261 (CH)
Chief Master Marsh had to decide whether there was a more appropriate division of the High Court in which a privacy claim should be brought.

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Unjustified threats of legal action can amount to harassment

The facts: On 17 May 2018, the Court of Appeal, in the case of Worthington & Anor v Metropolitan Housing Trust Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 1125, upheld an ex-tempore judgment of His Honour Judge Owen QC delivered on 10 June 2016, in which he found that the Defendant housing association, Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited, had unlawfully harassed two of its tenants.

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Huffington Post settles Lachaux libel claim

Recently we reported that the Supreme Court had granted The Independent permission to appeal the decision in the Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1334.  The case concerns the “serious harm” threshold for bringing a defamation claim and is unarguably the most important defamation decision since the inception of the Defamation Act 2013.  Much has been said about the law, but behind every landmark case is at least one aggrieved party.  Today the second defendant The Huffington Post’s publishers Oath (UK) Ltd joined with the Claimant in making a statement in open court accepting that the defamatory allegations it had published were untrue.

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Suspect Anonymity: is it actually feasible?

Former popstar and baby-boomer heart-throb Cliff Richard is suing the BBC for breach of privacy regarding its report that he had been accused of a sexual offence, and also its coverage in 2014 of the subsequent police raid on his home. The BBC coverage included use of a helicopter, and broadcasting the police search through the glass walls of Mr Richard’s property. He was later exonerated from the police investigation.

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“Can’t pay? We’ll take it away” – Part 36 Offers, apologies, costs and a schoolboy error

In the recent case of Ali & Anor v Channel 5 Broadcast Ltd [2018] EWHC 840 (Ch), the Claimants successfully recovered £10,000 each in privacy damages following the broadcast of the television programme “Can’t pay? We’ll take it away”.  The broadcast contained footage of the Claimants (a married couple) being evicted from their home, it was viewed by 9.65 million people and Mr Justice Arnold held that it amounted to a misuse of their private information.

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Defamation take-down requests to Google

The Right to be Forgotten has been in the news again recently following the decision in NT1 & NT2 v Google LLC [2018] EWHC 799 (QB) (read our blog on that decision here), but Google will often voluntarily remove content from its search engine results on a variety of other grounds, including that the content is defamatory.

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Martin Lewis to sue Facebook

Martin Lewis, the consumer campaigner, has announced that he intends to issue defamation proceedings against Facebook in respect of misleading advertisements bearing his name that have been published on the social media platform. It is claimed that many of the adverts show Martin Lewis’ face next to endorsements that he has not made.  These include adverts for binary trading schemes that are viewed as scams by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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High Court allows service of injunction by text message in blackmail case

The High Court has made an order in the anonymised case of NPV v QEL & ZED [2018] EWHC 703 (QB) allowing for service of an injunction by text message.  The case involves claims for misuse of private information and harassment in respect of an alleged blackmail attempt.

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