Bloomberg v ZXC: UK Supreme Court finds that suspects of crime have a reasonable expectation of privacy in investigation details pre-charge

Judgment has been handed down by the UK Supreme Court in the appeal in the case of Bloomberg v ZXC. The court has found for the respondent, refusing the appeal.

The case has significant implications for the law of privacy. It endorses the finding in the Cliff Richard case and provides crucial precedent on the reasonable expectation of privacy suspects of crime can expect. TPP will have further coverage of the judgment shortly. See the judgment here.

“The courts below were correct to hold that, as a legitimate starting point, a

person under criminal investigation has, prior to being charged, a reasonable

expectation of privacy in respect of information relating to that investigation and that

in all the circumstances this is a case in which that applies and there is such an

expectation.”

at p.146

Citation: INFORRM Blog, ZXC v Bloomberg LP: Privacy and Reputational Harm – Jeevan Hariharan

The INFORRM Blog has an excellent post on the inter-related nature of privacy and reputational harms.

Whether an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy that outweighs the public interest in cases where there has been an investigation, but no charge, by the police is an imminent case before the Supreme Court in the case of ZXC v Bloomberg LP.

The case is before the UK Supreme Court on 30 November and 1 December next week and was cited by Hariharan in his analysis of the proximity between privacy and reputational harms.

The Court of Appeal judgment can be found here. The Court found that there could be a reasonable expectation of privacy in the fact of a police investigation. This builds upon notable caselaw such as the Cliff Richard case.