Defamation Trumps Data Protection? Steele Yourselves!

July 20th, 2020 by Christopher Knight

It is a common trope of media lawyers that defamation claims have been on the wane since the Defamation Act 2013, and that data protection law might be the way to fill the gap. (We at Panopticon scorn such arriviste tendencies.) And in Warby J, there is a willing champion of alignment of legal principles between defamation and data protection. He particularly emphasised the read-across in the context of complaints of inaccurate data processing in NT1 v Google LLC [2018] EWHC 799 (QB) (see here) and he has done so again in his very interesting judgment in Aven v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd [2020] EWHC 1812 (QB). Read more »


Further (unhappy) thoughts on Schrems II

July 17th, 2020 by Robin Hopkins

In yesterday’s post outlining the Schrems II judgment, I said international data transfers were now in a fine mess. As I re-read the CJEU’s judgment, it occurs to me that my assessment was wrong. It is not a fine mess. It is an awful, almighty mess, it seems to me. Read more »


Schrems II: standard contractual clauses survive; Privacy Shield dead

July 16th, 2020 by Robin Hopkins

Well this is a fine mess. Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems has struck again: transfers of personal data from the EU to the US are suddenly vulnerable again, thanks to today’s CJEU judgment in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Max Schrems (Case C-311/18; 16 July 2020) – the so-called Schrems II judgment. The judgment (see here: Schrems II Judgment) is complex and multi-faceted, but I’ll aim for a nutshell summary just now. Read more »


Parliaments and the GDPR

July 10th, 2020 by Christopher Knight

Are national Parliaments subject to the GDPR? Yes, says the CJEU, they are: Case C-272/19 VK v Land Hessen (EU:C:2020:535). The reference to a “public authority” within the definition of “controller” in Article 4(7) GDPR was capable of including the Petitions Committee of the State Parliament, and the CJEU noted that there was no exception in Article 23 for legislative bodies. Read more »


Public Authorities under the EIR: Fishing for Clarity

July 3rd, 2020 by Christopher Knight

Is a private registered provider of social housing, a housing association, a public authority within the meaning of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Fish Legal line of authority (on which see here re the CJEU and here re the UT)? In Information Commissioner v Poplar Housing Association and Regeneration Community Association [2020] UKUT 182 (AAC) (ICO v Poplar Housing), Farbey J (CP) agreed with the First-tier Tribunal that it was not. Read more »


FOIA Appeals and Enforcement: Who has the Power?

July 2nd, 2020 by Christopher Knight

When the First-tier Tribunal decides an information rights appeal and finds in favour of the requestor, who has the responsibility for enforcing any non-compliance with that judgment? Is it the FTT, or is the Information Commissioner? In an interesting judgment of Judge Jacobs in Moss v Information Commissioner & Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames [2020] UKUT 174 (AAC), the Upper Tribunal has held that it is the FTT. Read more »