The Data Brief

A monthly data protection bulletin from the barristers at 5 Essex Chambers

A reasonable expectation of privacy is acutely fact sensitive and must be supported by careful pleading and evidence

5 May 2021

The Claimant sought permission to serve the claim form out of the jurisdiction. One of his claims was for misuse of private information. That claim concerned the publication by the Sixth Defendant of two photographs of the Claimant with other individuals whose faces were pixelated. Those photographs had been copied from the publicly accessible social media account of one of the Claimant’s children.

That Sixth Defendant had published the photographs on two occasions, in January and February 2020. The same photographs had been published online by another organisation in the summer of 2019.

Johnson J considered the misuse of private information claim. The Court recognised that a claim for misuse of private information is not necessarily barred by the fact that the information was technically already available to members of the public. The Judge said that “whether a person enjoys a reasonable expectation of privacy is acutely fact sensitive”.

The Claimant failed to establish that there was a serious issue to be tried. There was nothing in the pleaded facts, or the evidence, to support a conclusion that the Claimant continued to enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of the photographs both after they were put on his child’s social media account and particularly after the 2019 publication. The application failed.

Mr Justice Johnson was a member of 5 Essex Chambers until his elevation to the High Court Bench.

Further reading

Soriano v Forensic News LLC & ors

The Data Brief

A monthly data protection bulletin from the barristers at 5 Essex Chambers

The Data Brief is edited by Francesca Whitelaw KC, Aaron Moss and John Goss, barristers at 5 Essex Chambers, with contributions from the whole information law, data protection and AI Team.

Visit the Information Law, Data Protection and AI area

Search The Data Brief

Portfolio Builder

Select the practice areas that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)