The Data Brief

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

Sand Van Roy v Associated Newspapers – statement in open court read

2 June 2021

On 21 May 2021, a statement was read in open court on behalf of Associated Newspapers acknowledging that they had misused the  private information of Dutch actress/comedian Sand Van Roy, by publishing news stories in the UK identifying her as having complained to French police that she had been raped and (erroneously) saying that she had accused her alleged assailant of drugging her. 

Those stories followed similar matters, including Ms Van Roy’s name, being published in the French media ten days earlier. As a result of the resulting media coverage, Ms Van Roy felt compelled to give interviews to set the record straight. Initially, Associated Newspapers sought to argue that she had no reasonable expectation of privacy because that did not survive the publication of her information in the French press. But following Sicri v Associated Newspapers, in which it was held that publication of information in the Guardian did not bring an end to Mr Sicri’s reasonable expectation that his private information would not be published by MailOnline, Associated Newspapers admitted liability for Ms Van Roy’s claim, and agreed to pay her damages, costs, and publish a correction, as well as the statement in open court. 

As well as being a decision that Associated Newspapers – as publishers of MailOnline – have found expensive twice over, it now seems clear that Sicri continues the extension in domestic law of the reasonable expectation of privacy, a trend also seen in last year’s ZXC v Bloomberg. Perhaps, given how much he did to promote the role of privacy vis a vis the press, that’s only fitting in the week that Max Mosley passed away.

Further reading

Sicri v Associated Newspapers Limited

MailOnline apology

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.

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