Vidal-Hall Appeal Withdrawn; Section 13(2) DPA Still Dead

There have been rumours, but Panopticon can confirm that the appeal to the Supreme Court in Google v Vidal-Hall on the disapplication of section 13(2) of the Data Protection Act 1998 has been withdrawn following an agreement being reached between the parties. This is obviously a disappointment to those wanting to see what the Supremes would make of the Court of Appeal’s very important judgment permitting damages claims for distress without the need to show pecuniary loss (and indeed to those interested in the use of the Charter of Fundamental Rights to disapply primary legislation). What it does mean is that the Court of Appeal decision stands (as discussed here). Whether it will stand for all time, or whether another case will try and re-open the point in the light of the Supreme Court having accepted that it was arguable is another matter, but for the moment continuity reigns and section 13(2) can return to the oblivion from which it had sought to rise.

Christopher Knight