Category Archives: Public rights

Fines imposed for unlawful trading in customer personal data

A former car rental company employee has been convicted of unlawfully obtaining, disclosing and selling personal data. The buyer of the records has also been convicted.

While working from home as an administrative assistant, the employee had photographed on-screen customer records received from an insurance company. These included policy holder and claim information, typically concerning individuals involved in road traffic accidents. The employee sold copies of 28,000 records to a man she claimed to have met after he approached her husband in a pub. She was fined £1,000, ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £864.40 in prosecution costs.

In a separate case, the buyer was fined £1,000, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £864.40 and a victim surcharge.

Celebrity’s children entitled to privacy

The Court of Appeal has considered an appeal by Associated Newspapers against a High Court decision that publication of photographs of the well-known musician Paul Weller out shopping and at a café with his 16 year old daughter and ten month old twin sons in Los Angeles, California, infringed the children’s right to privacy.

The Court of Appeal concluded that the High Court was right to hold that the children had a reasonable expectation of privacy and that their right to privacy outweighed Associated Newspapers’ right to freedom of expression.

The judgment further clarifies the approach to be taken by the courts when considering an application to prevent the publication of photographs of children in a public place, based on their right to privacy. The case confirms that there are several considerations relevant to children which may mean that a child has a reasonable expectation of privacy where an adult does not, and that, where a child’s has a right to privacy, it is likely to require very powerful freedom of expression rights to outweigh them where a child’s interests would be adversely affected.

EU-US Safe Harbour arrangement invalid

The recent judgement of the European Court of Justice that the safe harbour arrangement between the EU and the US is invalid is like to have significant commercial and political impact on data flows between the EU and the US.

It also mandates a closer look at the substantive and procedural law in the US, as well as some EU member states, to ensure the effective protection of EU citizens’ respect for their private life and their right to the protection of the personal data.

Google search engine de-optimised?

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued an enforcement notice which requires Google Inc to remove links to eight websites from the search results displayed in response to a query for the name of an unnamed individual.

This follows a decision from the European Court of Justice that EU citizens have the right to request internet search engines to remove search results in response to a query for their name if those results are outdated or irrelevant.

Google Inc must delist the relevant links within 35 days of the date of the enforcement notice.

Google’s appealing cookies

In March 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed that three individuals resident in England could bring claims in England against US-based Google Inc for misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), arising from Google cookies tracking their on-line behaviour without their knowledge or consent.

Google sought permission to appeal on three grounds and the Supreme Court granted permission to appeal on two of them but not the third.