Information Technology Law Reports - Volume 19 - Issue 6

This issue of Information Technology Law Reports contains two Court of Appeal cases and one from the European Court of Justice. In the first, James Stunt v  Associated Newspapers Limited and The Information Commissioner, the Court of Appeal considered an appeal which concerned the proper interpretation of section 32(4) of the Data Protection Act 1998 and whether it complied with Articles 9 and 22 of the Directive 95/46/EC. There was a split of views with the majority prioritising free speech rights over privacy/data protection rights and the minority giving them equal weight. As a result, the matter was referred to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. In SSH Communications Security Corporation v Sony Mobile Communications AB and others, the Court of Appeal was concerned with an invention related to secure communications between computers. The appeal was dismissed mainly on the ground that the invention was clearly disclosed in the two Network Address Translation publications. Lastly, Proceedings Brought by Ministerio Fiscal, concerned a request for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Directive 2002/58 (the e-Privacy Directive) and the respect for private and family life and the protection of personal data under Article 7 and Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The data sought in this case was limited in type and for a limited period of time, which obviated the need to define what a ‘serious crime’ amounted to. 

Richard Budworth
Editor Information Technology Law Reports

James Stunt Associated Newspapers Limited and  The Information Commissioner 
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Sir Terence Etherton MR, McFarlane LJ and Sharp LJ
30 July 2018 
[2018] EWCA Civ 1780 

Data protection– freedom of expression – personal data – privacy – Data Protection Act 1998, sections 32(4) and 32(5) – Directive 95/46, Articles 1,9,  22 and 23 – referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

Proceedings Brought by Ministerio Fiscal
European Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) 
K. Lenaerts (President), A. Tizzano (Vice-President), R. Silva de Lapuerta, 
T. von Danwitz (Rapporteur), J.L. da Cruz Vilaca, C.G.Fernund and C. Vajda, 
Presidents of the Chambers, E.Juhasz, A. Borg Barthet, C. Toader, M.Safjan, 
D. Svaby, M. Berger, E. Jarasiunas and E.Regan, Judges 
2 October 2018

Information technology – admissibility criteria – communication data – fundamental rights – mobile telephones – personal data – proportionality - interpretation of Directive 2002/58/EC, Articles 1 and 3 – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 7 and Article 8 – granting access to electronic communications metadata not a sufficiently serious interference.

SSH Communications Security Corporation Sony Mobile Communications AB  and others
Court of Appeal
Patten, Kitchin and Floyd LJs
11 October 2018
[2018] EWCA Civ 2237 

Patent – transmission of data between computers – specification – ‘time out’ after inactivity – whether obvious – lacked novelty – interpretation of  Network Address Minutes and Guidelines – appeal dismissed.