Max Mosley loses privacy case in European Court

Max Mosley’s legal campaign to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private details has fallen apart, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the ex-Formula One boss.

The seven-judge court declared that a person’s privacy is already protected in several ways: self-regulation of the press, the availability of civil courts to seek damages and the option of taking out interim injuctions preventing publication of private details.

It also took into account the wide-reaching effects of the ‘pre-notification’ system that Mr Mosley’s legal team was fighting for – where newspapers would be expected to inform the subject of a story before publication, giving the subject a chance to block it – claiming that such a system would have a “chilling effect” on the media. There are also “significant doubts” as to how effective such a system would be.

Mr Mosley has argued that, despite being awarded £60,000 in damages back in 2008 when the News of the World published stories concerning his sexual activities with prostitutes, his privacy was damaged beyond the value of financial reimbursement, and that a system that ‘pre-notified’ people before their personal details were revealed in the public would give him, and others, a chance to take out an interim injunction.

It’s being seen as a victory for the British press, which probably would have had to comply to even more stringent privacy rules had the court ruled in Mosley’s favour. Newspaper bosses have warned that what Mr Mosley was suggesting would have breached the “right to freedom of expression”.

(Source: Press Gazette, BBC)






“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”

Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.

(Source: POLIS)


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