Information Technology Law Reports - Volume 18 - Issue 6


This edition of Information Technology Law Reports contains three cases, two involving data protection and one concerning freedom of expression on the internet. In Dawson-Damer & Others v Taylor Wessing LLP, the Court of Appeal was concerned with the use of subject access requests. The onus will be on the data controller to demonstrate that it has carried out a proportionate response to the request. The subject access regime only entitles data subjects to obtain access to and copies of their own personal data and information about how and why that data is being processed. It does not entitle subjects to obtain documents. The European Court of Human Rights confirmed in Payam Tamiz v United Kingdom that a thorough balancing exercise was required when Article 8 and Article 10 rights clashed. The court referred to the responsibilities that online service providers have in the Council of Europe and the European Union. It is an important case regarding intermediary liability. Lastly, the High Court in Northern Ireland in Callum Townsend v Google Inc and Google UK Limited, refused a sex offender’s application for leave to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction on Google Inc to prevent it revealing his personal data and criminal history. His claims about misuse of private information and breach of data protection were rejected. The court supported the case for revealing unspent convictions of a ‘notorious recidivist’. 

Richard Budworth

Dawson-Damer and Others Taylor Wessing LLP
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
HHJ Behrens 
16 February 2017 
[2017] EWCA Civ 74

Data Protection– subject access request – Trust dispute – legal professional privilege exception – whether reasonable or proportionate – improper purpose – sections 7(2), 7(9), 8(2) and Schedule 7 to Data Protection Act 1998 – Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), Article 13(1)(g) – appeal allowed.

Callum Townsend Google Inc. and Google UK Limited
High Court (NI)
Queen’s Bench Division 

Stephens J
8 September 2017
[2017] NIQB 81

Data Protection – sexualised text messages – spent conviction – similar offences – Sexual Offences Prevention Order – request to delete URLs – injunction – open justice – misuse of private information – Data Protection  Directive Data Protection Act 1998, section 10 and Schedules 2 and 3 – Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 – European Convention on Human Rights 1950, Article 8 – application rejected. 

Payam Tamiz United Kingdom
European Court of Human Rights
Judge Sicilianos (President)
12 October 2017 

Human Rights– libel claim – derogatory comments – blog – fair balance – respect to private life – freedom of expression – European Convention on  Human Rights 1950, Article 8 and Article10 – complaint rejected.