Privacy Law Cases

The following cases are available on my Privacy Law Cases podcast, which analyses individual cases related to privacy, data protection and information law. These are currently available on iTunes on a monthly subscription.


Episode 1

Sir Cliff Richard v BBC: the privacy rights of suspects of crime

This episode considers the case of Sir Cliff Richard v the British Broadcasting Corporation & the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [2018] EWHC 1837 (Ch) in the High Court. Key issues: do suspects in police investigations have a right to privacy before they are charged, damages for reputation in a privacy claim and the relationship between the press and the police.

Episode 2

Dr B v the GMC: subject access requests and mixed data

This episode is about the case of Dr B v General Medical Council [2018] EWCA Civ 1497 in the UK Court of Appeal, which discussed what data controllers should consider when they receive a request for personal data that involves disclosing the personal data of another person. Key issues: subject access requests, privacy of another person, the discretion of the data controller in deciding what factors are relevant in making a decision on disclosure and motivations behind a SAR.

Episode 3

Ali v Channel 5: reality TV shows and privacy rights

This episode examines the case of Ali and Aslam v Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 677 in the UK Court of Appeal. This appeal concerned a claim for misuse of private information by a couple filmed in a reality television series. The ruling examined the relationship between the couple’s right to privacy against the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression on a topic of public interest.

Episode 4

Aven v Orbis Business Intelligence: when statements in reports fall within data protection

This episode looks at the case of Aven and Others v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd [2020] EWHC 1812 (QB) in the UK High Court. This case concerned the so-called Steele Dossier about former President Donald Trump and his alleged links to Russia. The judgment examined when statements in reports can be considered personal data for the purpose of the legislation and the approach to be taken in the analysis. It also considered the national security and legal purposes exemptions.

Episode 5

Stocker v Stocker: libel and how to determine the ‘meaning’ of social media posts

This episode analyses the case of Stocker v Stocker [2019] UKSC 17 in the UK Supreme Court. In this case, an acrimonious divorce led to a series of Facebook posts that were alleged to be libellous. The Supreme Court gives guidance on how ‘meaning’ should be determined where social media posts are challenged in libel claims.

Episode 6

DXB v Persons Unknown: lifelong anonymity for adults convicted when children

This episode is an examination of the ‘Venables’ jurisdiction, which grants the lifelong anonymity for those convicted when children. The applicant in DXB v Persons Unknown & Others [2020] EWHC 134 (QB) sought an order to extend anonymity to prevent newspapers publishing his name when he turned 18. Key issues: the Venables jurisdiction, the right to private life and the right to freedom of expression.

Episode 7

Underwood v Bounty UK Ltd, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Data harvesting

This episode assesses the case of Underwood v Bounty UK Ltd and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2022] EWHC 888 (QB). A company with a business model that was predominantly based on data harvesting entered into a data sharing agreement with a hospital to collect the personal data of mothers and their children. Key issues: liability for third party acts in data protection and misuse of private information in relation to a data breach.

Episode 8

Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing LLP: subject access requests and filing systems

This episode analyses the case of Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing LLP [2020] EWCA Civ 352 in the UK Court of Appeal. This case was about a data subject access request. The judgment looked at the issues of the legal privilege exemption and what constituted a ‘relevant filing system’ for the purposes of data protection law.

Episode 9

Bull v Desporte: autobiographies and the privacy rights of others

This episode assesses the case of Bull v Desporte [2019] EWHC 1650 (QB) in the UK High Court. Donna Desporte published her autobiography, which mostly focused on her relationship with the Claimant. He brought a misuse of private information and breach of confidence claim against her. Key issues: consent to publication, the Article 8/Article 10 balance and damages in misuse of private information claims.

Episode 10

Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank Plc: data subject access and bank account information

This episode looks at the case of Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank Plc [2018] EWHC 1843 (QB) in the UK High Court. The Claimant wanted to know why his bank accounts had been frozen and sought disclosure of the evidence that supported a suspicious activity report by his bank to the NCA. Key issues: commercial decisions as personal data, applications for inspections.

Episode 11

Ittihadieh v 5-11 Cheyne Gardens: data subject access requests

This episode analyses the case of Ittihadieh v 5-11 Cheyne Gardens & others and Deer v Oxford University [2017] EWCA Civ 121, in which the Court of Appeal considered two cases that involved data subject access requests. The Court addressed some key issues on this topic: the scope of the definition of personal data, the household exemption, the form of response to a SAR, the scope of the search that a controller must undertake in response to a SAR, and the court’s discretion to order a controller to comply with a SAR.

Episode 12

R(Harry Miller) v the College of Policing: tweets and the police recording of non-crime hate incidents

This episode analyses the case of R(Miller) v the College of Policing [2021] EWCA Civ 1926, in which the Court of Appeal considered the police guidance on the recording of hate crimes. In this case, the applicant had objected to the police recording his gender-critical tweets as a perception-based hate incident. Key issues: controversial social media comments, the recording of perception-based hate incidents, freedom of speech and the definition of speech as a hate crime.

Episode 13

Cape Intermediate Holdings v Dring: which documents in civil proceedings can the public access

In Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring [2019] UKSC 38, the Supreme Court examined which documents the public can access from civil litigation under CPR 5.4C. This episode goes through the findings of the courts below and the decision of the Supreme Court. Key issues: access to documents from civil litigation under CPR 5.4C and the court’s inherent jurisdiction to order disclosure for the open justice principle.

Episode 14

JQL v NTP: Facebook comments and misuse of private information

This episode examines the case of JQL v NTP [2020] EWHC 1349 (QB) in the High Court. After a family feud, a comment on a Facebook post revealed information about the Claimant that she had kept private from the majority of her family. Key issues: misuse of private information, breach of confidence in a family context, reference and meaning of a social media post, extent of disclosure, threshold of seriousness for Article 8 and damages.