Meghan Markle Welcomes Win in Data Privacy Case
The Duchess of Sussex has welcomed a High Court privacy victory over The Mail on Sunday, following the unsanctioned publication of extracts from a letter to her father.
In August 2018, Meghan Markle sent a private handwritten letter to her father, following which the newspaper reproduced and published extracts in a double-page spread in February 2019.
Meghan subsequently sought damages against Associated Newspapers (ANL), for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
Lord Justice Warby has ruled in Meghan’s favour regarding her claim for misuse of private information, stating that the publication of the letter’s contents was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”
He also said that: "The majority of what was published was about the claimant's own behaviour, her feelings of anguish about her father's behaviour - as she saw it - and the resulting rift between them. These are inherently private and personal matters.
"There is no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial."
Speaking in a statement, Meghan welcomed the victory, saying: "For these outlets, it's a game. For me and so many others, it's real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep."
"We now know, and hope it creates legal precedent, that you cannot take somebody's privacy and exploit it in a privacy case, as the defendant has blatantly done over the past two years."
However, the case has not yet concluded, as the claims for copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act are yet to be resolved. The Data Protection claim was not considered at the hearing and the full trial of the duchess’s claim has been adjourned until Autumn 2021 for a ‘confidential reason’.
Anyone who has suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation who breaches any part of the Data Protection Act may have a right to claim compensation.
Compensation isn’t solely used to recoup any financial losses; it can also be used for the distress that a breach can cause, as is being proven in the case involving the Duchess of Sussex.
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Hayes Connor has one of the largest teams of data breach specialists in the country, with a wealth of combined experience. We have particular expertise in handling breaches of GDPR, so can advise you if you believe that you are in a position to make a claim.
Our expert team will provide tailored advice to help clarify whether you have grounds to make a claim, how the claims process will work and the level of compensation you may be entitled to.
Our aim is to make sure that anyone affected by a GDPR breach is able to access the compensation they deserve, while simultaneously making the claims process as straightforward as possible.
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