NT 1 and NT 2 v Google Llc: QBD 13 Apr 2018

Right to be Forgotten is not absolute

The two claimants separately had criminal convictions from years before. They objected to the defendant indexing third party web pages which included personal data in the form of information about those convictions, which were now spent. The claims were in Data Protection and the common law tort of misuse of private information.
Held: The claim of N1 was dismissed, but that of DT2 upheld. The application had its own independent merit and was not a mere substitute for defamation proceedings.
The defendant search engine provider was not able to stretch the journalism exemption so as to fall within it. It was instead a communicator publishing for its own separate and distinct reasons.
Whilst the defendant complied with Sch 3 Cond 5 of the 1998 Act, the remaining questions required the defendant to conduct a balancing exercise as between the competing human rights interests of the claimants and the publishers.
The first claimant had shown no inaccuracy, and the information complained of was public, without any proper expectation of privacy.
For NT2 seeking a delisting would not amount to an abuse. The article referred to was misleading, and the conviction had become out of date and of no continuing legitimate public interest. The article was to be delisted. The defendant had however exercised appropriate care, and no damages were to be awarded.
A conviction may, with the passage of time, so recede into the past as to become an aspect of an individual’s private life.
The initial balance between the data subject and publication are equal: ‘: neither privacy nor freedom of expression ‘has as such precedence over the other’; the conflict is to be resolved by an ‘intense focus on the comparative importance of the specific rights being claimed in the individual case’.’

Warby J
[2018] EWHC 799 (QB), [2018] WLR(D) 225
Bailii, WLRD
Data Protection Act 1998, Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 1 4 5, Human Rights Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights 8 10, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2000
England and Wales
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CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
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The Union challenged the right of the respondent to resell tickets to international rugby matches. The tickets were subject to a condition rendering it void on any resale at above face value. They said that the respondent had advertised tickets in . .
CitedHerbage v Pressdram Ltd CA 1984
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CitedGoogle Spain Sl v Agencia Espanola De Proteccion De Datos (AEPD) Gonzalez ECJ 25-Jun-2013
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Held: The . .
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CitedL v Law Society CA 2010
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Held: The appeal . .
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CitedWoodward v Hutchins CA 1977
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CitedGulf Oil (Great Britain) Limited v Page CA 1987
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CitedLonrho Plc and Others v Fayed and Others (No 5) CA 27-Jul-1993
Defamatory statements causing pecuniary loss may give rise to an action in tort only. The boundaries set by the tort of defamation are not to be side-stepped by allowing a claim in contract that would not succeed in defamation. A claimant cannot, by . .
CitedService Corporation International plc v Channel Four Television ChD 1999
The court considered an application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain a broadcast, based on copyright. The defendant argued that this was merely an attempt to circumvent difficulties in a defamation action.
Held: Where an interim . .
CitedTillery Valley Foods v Channel Four Television, Shine Limited ChD 18-May-2004
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CitedL, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis SC 29-Oct-2009
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The Court was asked as to the practice of supplying enhanced criminal record certificates under the 1997 Act. It was said that the release of reports of suspicions was a disproportionate interference in the claimants article 8 rights to a private . .
CitedBenkharbouche v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs SC 18-Oct-2017
The court was asked as to the compatibility of provisions in the 1978 Act with the human rights of the appellant. The claimants, Moroccan nationals were employed as domestic staff in embassies in London. They alleged both race discrimination and . .
CitedTerry (previously LNS) v Persons Unknown QBD 29-Jan-2010
The claimant (then known as LNS) had obtained an injunction to restrain publication of private materials.
Held: There was insufficient material to found an action in confidence or privacy. An applicant was unlikely to succeed either at an . .
CitedT and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
T and JB, asserted that the reference in certificates issued by the state to cautions given to them violated their right to respect for their private life under article 8 of the Convention. T further claims that the obligation cast upon him to . .
CitedBonnard v Perryman QBD 1891
The libel in issue was a very damaging one. Unless it could be justified at the trial it was one in which a jury would give the plaintiff ‘very serious damages’. The court was asked to grant an interlocutory injunction to restrain publication.
CitedRhodes v OPO and Another SC 20-May-2015
The mother sought to prevent a father from publishing a book about her child’s life. It was to contain passages she said may cause psychological harm to the 12 year old son. Mother and son lived in the USA and the family court here had no . .
CitedGulati and Others v MGN Limited ChD 21-May-2015
The claimants each claimed that their mobile phones had been hacked by or on behalf of the defendant newspaper group. The claims had now in substance been admitted, and the court set out to assess the damages (and aggravated damages) to be paid.
CitedPNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others SC 19-Jul-2017
No anonymity for investigation suspect
The claimant had been investigated on an allegation of historic sexual abuse. He had never been charged, but the investigation had continued with others being convicted in a high profile case. He appealed from refusal of orders restricting . .
CitedCook v Alexander CA 1974
One may comment upon reports which are themselves the subject of privilege. A report to be fair and accurate must constitute a fair presentation of that which took place on the relevant occasion. It need not be a verbatim report. It can be selective . .
CitedCharleston and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 31-Mar-1995
The plaintiffs were actors playing Harold and Madge Bishop in the Australian soap series ‘Neighbours’. They sued on a tabloid newspaper article which showed their faces superimposed on the near-naked bodies of models apparently engaged in sexual . .
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Appeal against an order made by Kenneth Parker J in judicial review proceedings relating to the compatibility of the online infringement of copyright provisions . .
CitedRegina v Croydon Crown Court ex parte Trinity Mirror Plc; In re Trinity Mirror plc CACD 1-Feb-2008
An order had been made protecting the identity of a defendant who pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children. The order was made in the interests of his own children, although they had been neither witnesses in the proceedings against . .
CitedVon Hannover v Germany ECHR 24-Jun-2004
Princess Caroline of Monaco who had, at some time, received considerable attention in the media throughout Europe, complained at the publication of photographs taken of her withour her permission.
Held: There was no doubt that the publication . .
CitedTietosuojavaltuutettu v Satakunnan Markkinaporssi and Satamedia (Approximation Of Laws) ECJ 16-Dec-2008
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CitedMetropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD 16-Jul-2009
The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .
CitedJR 38, Re Judicial Review QBNI 21-Mar-2013
Application for judicial review of a decision by the PSNI to release to local newspapers for publication images of persons suspected of being involved in sectarian rioting and violent offending at an interface area at Fountain Street/Bishop Street . .
CitedAxel Springer Ag v Germany (No 2) ECHR 10-Jul-2014
ECHR Article 10-1
Freedom of expression
Injunction against newspaper restraining further publication of article concerning former head of government: violation
Facts – The applicant was the . .
CitedYeo v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 25-Nov-2015
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant as to his conduct as an MP. The defendant having pleaded justification, the court now tried the liability issue.
Held: The claim failed. The publication had the benefit of reynolds privilege.
CitedEconomou v De Freitas QBD 27-Jul-2016
Failed action for defamation on rape allegations
The claimant had been accused by the defendant’s daughter of rape. He was never charged but sought to prosecute her alleging intent to pervert the course of justice. She later killed herself. The defendant sought to have the inquest extended to . .
CitedTownsend v Google Inc and Another QBNI 31-Oct-2017
By the age of 24 the plaintiff had accumulated 74 convictions, of which only 2 were spent.
Held: The court refused an application for leave to serve proceedings on Google in California, claiming remedies under the DPA in respect of the . .
CitedKugathas v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 21-Jan-2003
Sedley LJ considered the circumstances where the Secretary of state should take into account the defendant’s article 8 human rights when considering deportation after serving a sentence of imprisonment: ‘Generally, the protection of family life . .
CitedYXB v TNO (No 2) QBD 25-Mar-2015
The claimant professional footballer sought to restrain publication by the defendants of details of their sexual relations. He said that the woman had sought to blackmail him. A newspaper had printed an inaccurate story, but not in a way which . .
CitedJR38, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) SC 1-Jul-2015
The appellant was now 18 years old. In July 2010 two newspapers published an image of him. He was at that time barely 14 years old. These photographs had been published by the newspapers at the request of the police. The publication of the . .
CitedAxon v Ministry of Defence QBD 11-Apr-2016
Action for misuse of private information and/or breach of confidence.
Held: Information relating to the events leading to the removal of a Royal Navy warship commander from that role fell outside the ambit of his private or personal life.
Information, Media, Human Rights, European, Torts – Other

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.608380