'Night Jack' – the pseudonym used by a serving
detective constable for writing his blog – has lost his
case in which he sought to restrain The Times newspaper
from revealing his identity. Night Jack had written about a number
of social and political issues relating to the police and justice.
The Times had not been told his identity in breach of
confidence, but had deduced it.
The High Court rejected his application on the basis that there
was no breach of any duty of confidentiality in this case, and it
did not qualify as information in respect of which the author had a
reasonable expectation of privacy. Crucially, the judge ruled that
blogging was essentially a public, rather than private, activity.
Bloggers often took steps to disguise their authorship, but it was
a step too far to say that those people could legitimately expect
others to be prohibited at law from deducing their identity.
In any event, the High Court added that even if the author had a
right of confidentiality, it was outweighed in this case by a
contrary public interest in revealing his identity. The
author's opinions were strong and controversial. Communicating
details of police operations meant that the author risked
disciplinary action. Wrong-doing by a public servant was something
which the press could legitimately draw to people's attentions.
In addition, since his comments were very political and critical,
the public should have the right to receive information about the
author so that they could assess the weight and authority to be
attached to them. It was not the court's remit to protect
police officers who were acting in breach of police regulations
from coming to the attention of their superiors.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
In light of the much anticipated ICO draft GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) Consent Guidance being published yesterday, 2 March 2017, we will be running a mini-series on the guidelines under consultation and the impact the GDPR will have on the much vexed position of consent and the impact on your business.
The first of our four discussions on the ICO guidelines for Consent will focus on the meaning of consent under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and how this change enhances the previous law on consent to data processing.
The fourth and final part of our mini-series on the draft ICO guidance on Consent, published on 2 March 2017, focuses on the practical impact the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will have on how your organisation records and manages consent.
A fundamental aspect of all fair and lawful processing of personal data under the current data protection rules is the requirement for the party who is the data controller to meet one or more conditions ("the conditions for processing").
The second in our mini-series on the ICO guidance on Consent, published on 2 March 2017, focuses on how the changes to be introduced by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will impact upon your business and what you can do to pre-empt the changes before their introduction in May 2018.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).