Data Protection and the Right to Reputation: Filling the Gaps After the Defamation Act 2013
The final version of this paper appeared in the November 2014 issue of the Cambridge Law Journal.
Posted: 22 Jun 2013 Last revised: 7 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 20, 2014
Defamation law has traditionally occupied a position of overwhelming dominance in the vindication of the right to reputation. Nevertheless, liberalization of this legal framework including through the Defamation Act 2013 has led to a concern that, when analysed from a fundamental rights perspective, “gaps” in the protection provided for natural persons may have emerged. In this new context, there has been a renewed focus on whether data protection may fill the potential lacunae. Data protection law contains a number of important limitations and exceptions and its jurisprudence has been both limited and sometimes confused. Nevertheless, this article argues that its broad purpose and complex structure ensure it will play a significantly augmented role in the future, especially in actions against website operators facilitating the dissemination of information posted by a third party, the publication of opinion or where either injunctive relief or the correction of inaccurate information is sought (in particular in cases of continuing online disclosure).
Note: The full text of the author's accepted manuscript is available on the University of Cambridge's online Repository.
Keywords: Defamation, Data Protection, EU Charter, Intermediary Liability, Multiple Publication Rule, Social Media, Website Operators
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