There has been much talk about the recent Supreme Court decision in Lloyd v Google (see Rupert’s excellent summary here). While great minds have been focusing on the learning from their Lordships, there have also been some recent data protection nuggets from lower down the chain that are worthy of some consideration.
Article 15(1) of the E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC) has long been a useful weapon in the armoury of social media platforms and search engines by prohibiting a “general monitoring obligation”. This, they argue, means that they can only be required to remove specific unlawful content that is identified by the complainant or court, but no more. The problem with this is that it is very easy for the unlawful content to be spread far and wide and the complainant is required to play whac-a-mole, identifying every repetition and variation of that content.
In today’s judgment in Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek v Facebook Ireland Limited (Case C-18/18), the CJEU has given important guidance in relation to the removal of content which contains identical wording to the original unlawful content or which has “equivalent” content.
Does a media corporation breach a source’s article 10 rights by voluntarily disclosing their identity to the police? Is source confidentiality lost by criminal conduct? These are the questions that the Court of Appeal had to grapple with in the appeal against conviction brought by former prison officer Robert Norman.