ZXC v Bloomberg Lp: QBD 23 Feb 2017

Investigation of claimant was properly disclosed

The claimant requested the removal of material naming him from the defendant’s website. Criminal investigations into a company with which he was associated were begun, but then concluded. In the interim, the article was published. The hearing had been in private and the claimant anonymised.
Held: The weight to be attached to the Defendant’s art 10 rights here comfortably outweighed the Claimant’s article 8 rights. In those circumstances, the claim based on Art 8 and the Claimant’s expectation of privacy failed. Moreover, the defence under section 32 was such that the Claimant could not show that he was likely to succeed in overcoming that defence: ‘the decision to refer to the Claimant in the article was taken after careful consideration of the relevant circumstances, including the public interest in the disclosure of the Claimants involvement. In my judgment, it is clear that the Defendant as data controller believed, and believed on reasonable grounds, that publication would be in the public interest.’
The fact that ERY proceeded from a concession meant it was only weak support for the existence of such an expectation, but rejected a submission by the defendant that there was a blanket rule against it – it was a fact sensitive question. He identified a number of features in that case (including the confidentiality of the document and the fact that it came into the hands of the defendant via an unauthorised leak) which led him to the conclusion that the claimant would reasonably have expected that the document: ‘would remain private to the law enforcement agency and the other party receiving it’

Garnham J
[2017] EWHC 328 (QB), [2017] EMLR 21
Civil Procedure Rules 39.2, European Convention on Human Rights 6 8 10, Date Protection Act 1998 32
England and Wales
CitedAttorney General’s Reference No 3 of 1999: Application By the British Broadcasting Corporation To Set Aside or Vary a Reporting Restriction Order HL 17-Jun-2009
An application was made to discharge an anonymity order made in previous criminal proceedings before the House. The defendant was to be retried for rape under the 2003 Act, after an earlier acquittal. The applicant questioned whether such a order . .

Cited by:
CitedRichard v The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another ChD 18-Jul-2018
Police suspect has outweighable Art 8 rights
Police (the second defendant) had searched the claimant’s home in his absence in the course of investigating allegations of historic sexual assault. The raid was filmed and broadcast widely by the first defendant. No charges were brought against the . .
See AlsoZXC v Bloomberg LP QBD 17-Apr-2019
Claim for misuse of private information. The central issue is whether the Claimant can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information that relates to a criminal investigation into his activities. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Human Rights, Media

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.577510