Data Protection and the Media Mainstream

Remember how for years a data protection claim would be bunged on the end of a libel and/or privacy complaint, receiving little to no judicial or litigation attention, because it was seen as a boring tecchie subject few understood? Those days have been over for some time (as us DPA drum-bangers have been pointing out), and the Queen’s Bench Division now agrees. A new Media and Communications List has been created within the QBD, to be headed up by Warby J.The workload of the new List is described in the following way:

cases involving one or more of the main media torts (defamation, misuse of private information and breach of duty under the Data Protection Act) and related or similar claims including malicious falsehood and harassment arising from publication or threatened publication by the print or broadcast media, online, on social media, or in speech” (emphasis added).

Parties are invited to self-identify cases appropriate for the List, and a consultation about whether specific procedural approaches should be adopted for the work of the List is intended for the future.

But in the meantime, it is nice to see that the DPA has taken its place amongst the pantheon of mainstream media torts.

Christopher Knight