A brief introduction to the concept of privacy under English law – Part II

In Part II we consider the legislative framework under English law which enshrined privacy and the recent development of the action for misuse of private information, underpinned by privacy as a value.

The right to privacy was codified into legislation at European Union level in the European Convention of Human Rights, which provides a higher level interpretive layer of guidance on the application of such rights. However, these provisions required integration into English law via legislation to be effective. In taking the lead from the European authorities Parliament passed the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”) to achieve such harmonisation. Article 8 of the HRA addresses the right to a private life:

  1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
  2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

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A brief introduction to the concept of privacy under English law – Part I

This article is meant to illustrate the development of the concept of privacy under English law, is by no means exhaustive and provides a general reference to key developments.

Many doctrines under English law form due to common law, also known as judge-made or case law, where a series of legal cases create and form doctrines or principles which underpin legal rights. Privacy emerged as a notion in common law in the 18th century, developing through cases, until it was legislated in the 20th century under the European Convention on Human Rights, which was integrated into English law by the Human Rights Act 1998. In Part I we explore the early common law cases which introduced the concept of privacy to English law.

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A regulatory Trojan horse – decrypting calls for a Federal consumer privacy law in the United States

In a keynote speech before the European Parliament in Brussels on 24 October 2018, Tim Cook CEO of Apple called for the implementation of a Federal privacy law, praising the Parliament for its implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”):

“We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive Federal privacy law in the United States. There, and everywhere, it should be rooted in four essential rights: First, the right to have personal data minimized… Second, the right to knowledge… Third, the right to access… and fourth the right to security.”

Data-driven companies are painfully aware that they need to be seen to take consumer privacy seriously or risk alienating customers. However, they are also aware of the regulatory burden new laws would place on their operations. The result is a covert attempt to undermine state legislative efforts by pushing for superseding Federal privacy laws.

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The Privacy Perspective launches its Resources page!

TPP is delighted to announce to launch of our Resources pageblack-and-white-blackboard-business-356043.jpg

This page focuses on providing readers with a list of similar sites which provide insightful and topical commentary on privacy law and associated issues such as data privacy, media law, information law and cybersecurity. TPP reproduces these links with thanks and we hope visitors will find them useful.

We foresee this page growing along with our site and it will be updated on a monthly basis.

“Learning is a treasure which will follow its owner everywhere” – a Chinese proverb

Lord Hain’s naming of Sir Phillip Green – using parliamentary privilege to disregard an interim injunction undermines privacy and the rule of law

Many of you will be familiar with Lord Hain’s recent naming of Sir Phillip Green as the beneficiary of a recent successful application for an interim injunction. The interim injunction prohibited the Daily Telegraph and other outlets from naming Green as the subject of a number of extremely serious allegations in the course of his work as a business executive. However, Lord Hain later named Sir Green openly in the House of Lords.

This piece will seek to focus on the inappropriate use of parliamentary privilege to disclose information which would otherwise have been subject to an interim injunction. Continue reading