In The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor v TLU & Anor  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  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.
Recently we reported that the Supreme Court had granted The Independent permission to appeal the decision in the Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd  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.
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.
In the recent case of Ali & Anor v Channel 5 Broadcast Ltd  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.
The Right to be Forgotten has been in the news again recently following the decision in NT1 & NT2 v Google LLC  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.
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.
The High Court has made an order in the anonymised case of NPV v QEL & ZED  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.