Court finds Max Mosley has possible DPA case against Google
Published 5 February 2015
Max Mosley brought a case against Google where he sought financial compensation and a prevention order against Google, which would stop Google from allowing offensive material about him from appearing on the search engine. The offensive material complained of related to images and video content covering a private orgy in 2008. Mosley claims that Google, as data controller, had not fully actioned requests by him to remove the information under section 10 of the DPA.
Section 10 covers an individual's right to prevent a data controller from processing personal data if the processing is causing, or is likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress, which is unwarranted.
The High Court found that Mosley did indeed have a possible claim against Google under the reasoning put forward by Mosley.
The case is particularly interesting on two points:
- In the post-Google Spain "Costeja" "right to be forgotten" environment, Mosley was able to raise a claim under section 10 of the DPA against Google as a data controller as that ruling established that search engine providers are data controllers;
- The judgment paves the way for a discussion of the DPA in the high court in relation to an individual's right to privacy. In the past, such celebrity cases have typically avoided a discussion on the DPA, favouring claims of a "right to privacy" and/or a breach of confidentiality.
To view the Court's decision, please click here.