Category Archives: Uncategorized

Property rights prevail over freedom of expression!

The High Court has granted an injunction restraining “urban explorers” from trespassing on the roof of the O2 arena and requiring the removal from the internet of videos of previous trespasses on the roof.

The primary purpose of the trespassing was to make videos and earn money by posting them on social media sites.

The court considered the trespassers’ rights to freedom of expression against the property rights of the O2 arena’s owners.

The court decided that the videos had a propensity to encourage further breaches of the owners’ property rights, so removing the videos was a proportionate interference with the explorers’ rights to freedom of expression.

Company and director fined for failing to notify the ICO

A lead generation company, which pleaded guilty for failing to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under section 17 of the Data Protection Act, was fined £650, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £492.78 and £65 victim surcharge.

The company’s director also pleaded guilty to an offence under section 61 of the Data Protection Act (where the failure to notify is committed with the consent, connivance or neglect of a senior officer of the company) and was fined £534, ordered to pay £489.08 prosecution costs and £53 victim surcharge.

Notification is a straightforward process which can be done online at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/register/

Google Glass concerns

Larry Page, CEO of Google, will receive a letter from national data protection authorities asking him to answer questions about Google Glass, the internet-connected glasses currently in beta testing but not yet available to the general public. Data protection authorities are disappointed that Google has not spoken to them during the development of the product. The letter asks what data Google intends to collect, who it will be shared with, whether risk assessments have been carried out, what will be the privacy safeguards and how will social and ethical issues be addressed.

Deletion enforced

Google has been issued with an enforcement notice by the Information Commissioner’s Office requiring it to delete personal data collected in the UK by Street View vehicles and held on vehicle disks. The Street View investigation was reopened following a US report. This showed that data from networks had been collected without consent by software deliberately written by an engineer, though there was insufficient evidence to show Google’s intentions at corporate level. Failure to delete that data in breach of the undertakings to do so constitutes a breach of data protection principles which prohibits personal data being kept for longer than is necessary.

DPA failure breaches contract

A court in Scotland has decided that a breach of the Data Protection Act constituted a material breach of express terms in a

contract, entitling the other party to terminate. The court ruled that “any breach of a material term” meant any material breach, or possibly any repudiatory breach, though this did not mean that any breach would justify termination. In this particular case the breach impaired the ability of one party to perform an important part of the contract. The decision is a reminder of the importance of including in contracts an obligation to comply with all laws, specifying laws such as the Data Protection Act where particularly relevant, and the need to include suitable warranties and indemnities that personal data is being processed lawfully.