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    Friday, 5 February 2010

    Has the worm turned? tabloid understandings of privacy law

    Yesterday offered two very interesting demonstrations of the changed perceptions of the strictures of privacy law in the wake of the withdrawal of the John Terry superinjunction (at least as interpreted by tabloid newspapers).

    First, you may recall that over Christmas the Sun carried a story about a premier league football manager who had visited a masseuse/brothel. At that point they felt unable to name the person in question. Yesterday, explicitly because they no longer considered themselves "banned from revealing the culprit's identity by creeping privacy laws based on the Human Rights Act", they named Avram Grant the person in question. Today they have some video and photos of the inside of the property in question (although notably not of events on the day in question that would by any interpretation leave them in the proverbial).

    Grant's wife indicated that they were not interested in bringing an action. Perhaps they should. If the Grants do not, then perhaps Eidur Gudjohnsen will. The Sun went on yesterday to name him as a further lover of Vanessa Perroncel. Ultimately, the current rash of expose behaviour is bound to lead, sooner or later, to further court consideration of what Article 8 requires. In the meantime, it seems that the tabloids are hoping to exploit the ambivalence in Mr Justice Tugendhat's nuanced discussion last week.

    2 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    I had heard that the shift in position re the Avram Grant story was due to the launch of a police investigation, and hence the emergence of a putative public interest defence to the privacy point. Maybe this was wrong - certainly the ensuing practice of the tabloids (esp. the Sun) has suggested that there is in fact a change in policy. See further on this, the following: John Terry case: the aftermath - the lack of definition in privacy laws led to John Terry's failed superinjunction and a rash of new scandals concerning celebrities such as Ashley Cole and Vernon Kay

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