Citation: INFORRM: Markle v Associated Newspapers, an interesting preemptive analysis

INFORRM has an excellent two part post on Meghan Markle’s action for misuse of private information against the Associated Newspapers.

Seminal media law commentator Paul Wragg considers the defence advanced by Associated Newspapers and analyses the merits of its arguments in detail. Part I and Part II cover in-depth the elements of the defence, it’s fairly weak proponents and the general lack of supporting precedent.

The claim has three limbs in objecting in the papes use of excerpts of a pricate letter sent by Ms Markle to her father- misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches.

The analysis right strikes the heart of the matter- the defence lacks merit and the arguments in Ms Markle’s favour are persuasive. The legitimate expectation of privacy she accrued in relation to the letter is a weighty consideration, one which Associated Newspapers looks to be struggling to fundamentally address given the couching of its defence.

This is to be expected- the arguments fall heavily in Markle’s favour and have basis in fundamental concepts of privacy enshrined in Article 8. It could be even called a textbook case of misuse of private information.

 

Data protection rights

Personal data, such as your name, likeness, birthday or any other information which can be used to identify you is highly sensitive.

Protecting and bringing actions on the basis of your personal data being harvested, used or misused is a key foundational right to privacy. Continue reading

The end of the kiss and tell story? – PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] UKSC 26

The case of PJS concerned an application for an interlocutory injunction. PJS was well known in the entertainment business and married to YMA, who was similarly well known. They had young children. In 2007 or 2008 PJS met AB and had occasional sexual encounters with them despite AB having a partner, CD. In December 2011 PJS had a three-way sexual encounter with AB and CD following which the sexual relationship with PJS and AB came to an end. Continue reading

Ben Stokes and Gareth Thomas in the press – Protecting privacy in the spotlight

Many will have heard of the Sun’s recent egregious intrusion into the private and family life of cricketer Ben Stokes. The offending article by the Sun delves into the family life of the famous cricketer in a manner which could be seen to breach the privacy rights of Stokes and his family.

The incident has placed the conduct of English journalists, particularly the Sun, under the spotlight. INFORRM has an excellent post on the issue.

Stokes statement on the article, released on Twitter, can be found here.

Many will also be aware of the exposing of rugby player Gareth Thomas’ HIV status following black mail attempts. This move is highly invasive and could be considered a misuse of private information.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has commented on the incidents. This notes how the Editor’s Code operates to protect individuals in such scenarios and condemns the sensationalist headlines of articles  intruding upon privacy rights.