Diary of a Wimpy Minister

May 25th, 2017 by Christopher Knight

A mere three years ago, the FTT held that the Ministerial Diary of Andrew Lansley was relevantly held under FOIA and was not exempt under section 35(1)(b). Now the Court of Appeal has held, in Department of Health v Information Commissioner & Lewis [2017] EWCA Civ 374, that the FTT made no error. The fact that no-one can now remember who Andrew Lansley was (now Lord Lansley CBE thank you) or why anyone would care, is by-the-by. Read more »


Data Manifest(o)ations

May 19th, 2017 by Christopher Knight

It came as news to us at Panopticon, but apparently there is an election happening. We hadn’t seen anything about it, but obviously our vision, like the election, was not 2020 after all. But not wanting to miss out on the fun (and by fun, we mean limitless repetition of meaningless slogans, the never-ending abuse of BBC reporters for ‘bias’ by everyone, and a slow dawning sense of the end of days not coming soon enough), we thought a quick glance at the main party manifestos would be in order. Read more »


Medical privacy

May 17th, 2017 by James Goudie QC

Do clinicians treating a patient with Huntington’s Disease have a duty to disclose the diagnosis to the patient’s daughters? Arguably so, says the Court of Appeal in ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (2017) EWCA Civ 336.

Huntington’s Disease is inherited. The child of a parent with the disease has a 50 per cent chance of developing the condition.

In the ABC case the Claimant’s father was diagnosed with the condition.  He told his brother.  He did not inform the Claimant or either of her sisters. Read more »


EU looks to appoint expert group on the GDPR

May 12th, 2017 by Anya Proops QC

Just in case any readers are interested, the EU has announced that it is setting up a ‘multi-stakeholder expert group’ to assist the EU Commission in understanding the potential challenges posed by the application of the GDPR (see here). It is anticipated that the group will consist of academic, legal practitioners, as well as business and civil society representatives. If you or your clients are interested in applying for membership of the group, here’s the relevant link.

Anya Proops QC


Manni From Heaven: The Right to Forget Google Spain

May 11th, 2017 by Christopher Knight

In amongst the unsolicited love letters, the pictures of rudely shaped vegetables and simple abuse from those who believe a section 14 FOIA response is a deliberate conspiracy against them, the Panopticon postbag occasionally receives a polite enquiry about why we have not passed comment upon some fascinating information law development. Such a point might be made about Case C-398/15 Camera di Commercio v Manni (ECLI:EU:C:2017:197), in which the CJEU addressed, for only the second time, the ‘right to be forgotten’. Of course, in this case, we have analysed it at great length, but all well-known search engines have delisted it so thoroughly that everyone has forgotten where to find it. So here, like a vexatious requestor or a particularly unpleasant kebab, we are again. Read more »


Implementing the GDPR in the UK: lessons from Germany?

May 9th, 2017 by Robin Hopkins

As we all know, the GDPR is all about the harmonisation of data protection across Europe – hence its form as a regulation (directly effective) rather than a directive (domestic implementing legislation needed). Yes, but: the GDPR leaves an awful lot to member states to implement. For example: exemptions to data subjects’ rights, mechanisms for reconciling data protection and freedom of expression, and the machinery of enforcement by supervisory authorities. Until we have domestic implementing legislation, we can’t fully understand how data protection will work after 25 May 2018. Read more »