Journalists beware: privacy can trump expression, even with open-source data

June 29th, 2017 by Robin Hopkins

You are a journalist wanting to report on an issue of indisputable public interest. The issue involves people’s personal data, but it comes from publicly available sources. There could be no possible objection to your publishing that personal data as part of your story, right? Wrong – at least on the facts of the Satamedia v Finland case, on which the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR gave judgment this week. Read more »


Don’t mention the bigger picture

June 29th, 2017 by Peter Lockley

The definition of ‘environmental information’ is notoriously wide. Notorious too is the difficulty of applying it and the lack of binding authority on how to go about the task.

To date the leading authority has been the Upper Tribunal’s decision in DECC v IC and Henney [2015] UKUT 0671 (AAC). Now we have BEIS v IC and Henney [2017] EWCA Civ 844. It’s the same appellant under a different name, and the same approach under a different label: in a nutshell, the Court of Appeal agreed with everything that the Upper Tribunal did, except for calling it ‘the bigger picture approach’. Read more »


Data privacy and freedom of expression – new Strasbourg judgment

June 27th, 2017 by Anya Proops QC

Hot of the press – The European Court of Human Rights has just handed down its judgment in the case of Satamedia v Finland. This is an important judgment on the relationship between the right to data privacy (even in respect of data which is publicly available) and the right to freedom of expression. More analysis to follow in due course.

Anya Proops QC


Conservative party call centre ‘may have broken election law’

June 23rd, 2017 by Claire Halas

Last night, Channel 4 News reported on an undercover investigation into allegations that the Conservative Party had engaged in unlawful canvassing in the context of the recent general election. The report included an interview with 11KBW’s Anya Proops QC. You can watch the report here, and see also this article in the Guardian.


Subject access requests: revised guidance from the ICO

June 20th, 2017 by Robin Hopkins

As Panopticon devotees will know, the early months of 2017 brought a flurry of judgments about subject access requests – most importantly, in the Dawson-Damer and Ittihadieh/Deer cases. The principles from those judgments have now been incorporated into a revised ICO Code of Practice on subject access requests, published last week. The revised Code is important not only because it reflects up-to-date caselaw, but also because it tells us how the ICO expects to see subject access requests dealt with in practice.

Here are some of the key revisions. Read more »


Monetary penalties: getting the amount right

June 13th, 2017 by Robin Hopkins

What factors should be taken into account when setting the amount of a monetary penalty for serious contraventions of data protection and privacy laws? Perhaps surprisingly, our case law has to date had precious little to say on this. The recent decision of the First-Tier Tribunal in LAD Media v IC (EA/2017/0022) is a notable exception. Read more »