A New Home for Data Protection

All data protection claims issued after 1 October 2019 will now have to be issued in the new, formal, Media and Communications List of the High Court. On that date, a new Part 53 of the CPR will take effect – set out in the Schedule to the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2019 – along with two new Practice Directions.Part 53 and the new mandatory List will cover all data protection claims, misuse of private information claims, defamation claims and claims of harassment by publication. It will not prevent data protection claims being issued in, or transferred to, the County Court. New PD53A will address transfers in and out of the List. New PD53B sets out detailed rules and expectations to the approach to all claims within the jurisdiction of the new List. Of particular relevance is the new para 9 of PD53B, which provides that:

9. In any claim for breach of any data protection legislation the claimant must specify in the particulars of claim—

(1) the legislation and the provision that the claimant alleges the defendant has breached;

(2) any specific data or acts of processing to which the claim relates;

(3) the specific acts or omissions said to amount to such a breach, and the claimant’s grounds for that allegation; and

(4) the remedies which the claimant seeks.”

You can read the new Practice Directions here, along with the various other consequential amendments.

There is also to be a new Media and Communications Pre-Action Protocol: see here. There are specific requirements set out for raising DPA claims in correspondence, including in relation to proposed representative actions under Article 80 GDPR.

It is a brave new world in which data protection is welcomed into the bosom of the media law family.

Christopher Knight