0370 270 6000

Confidentiality is defeated by publication; privacy is not

24 May 2011

Mr Justice Tugendhat recently held that “the court does not grant injunctions which would be futile”.

But yesterday, Tugendhat refused to remove the anonymity granted to the claimant in CTB v News Group Newspapers even though his identity had been disclosed in parliament.

The judge said that the question that had been asked in parliament about it and the “tens of thousands of people” that named the claimant strengthened the claimant’s claim to need protection, and the order remains in place to protect him from “taunting and other intrusion and harassment in the print media”.

The courts held in the Spycatcher case that confidentiality is destroyed by public dissemination – but the purpose of a privacy injunction is not just to keep a matter secret – it is also there to prevent intrusion and harassment. The decision is courageous and well reasoned – but it must rather grate with businesses that are told that they cannot prevent continued misuse of their confidential information once it has become public.

Related opinions

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up