Information Technology Law Reports - Volume 19 - Issue 2


This edition of Information Technology Law Reports contains three cases concerned with confidential information. In the first, PML v Persons Unknown, the High Court ordered the unknown defendant(s) to deliver up and/or destroy the stolen data and ordered the defendant to identify him or herself and provide an address for service. The case illustrates that there are court procedures available to victims of cybercrime aimed at ensuring their stolen information remains confidential. In the second case, (1) TLU (2) TLV v (1) Secretary of State for the Home Department (2) Home Office, the Court of Appeal confirmed that it will be possible for data subjects, not directly referred to within the compromised data arising out of the data breach, to sue for damages in certain circumstances. It is unlikely that GDPR will alter this position. The third case, Swift v Information Commissioner and Highways Englandconcerned the disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and whether Highways England could rely on an exemption not to disclose such information. It was held, inter alia, that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosure.

Richard Budworth 
Editor, Information Technology Law Reports

R v Persons Unknown

High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division
Nicklin J
17 April 2018 
[2018] EWHC 838 (QB)

Breach of Confidence [2017] 1 WLR 1– access to IT systems – stolen data – blackmail – interim injunction – derogation from open justice – judgment for the claimant. 

(1) TLU (2) TLV (1) Secretary of State for the Home Department (2) Home Office 
Court of Appeal 
Civil Division 
Gross, McFarlane and Coulson LJs
15 June 2018
[2018] EWCA Civ 2217
Data Protection –  personal data – confidential information – misuse – accidental uploading – spreadsheet – Data Protection Act 1998 – appeal dismissed. 

Swift Information Commissioner and  Highways England 
First Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber (Information Rights)
Judge Hazel Oliver, Stephen Shaw and Dave Sivers
21 November 2018 

Confidential Information– Freedom of Information Act 2000 – section 43  exemption – confidentiality – contractors’ charges – competitive tenders – public interest – appeal dismissed.