This judgment followed a trial of a claim for correction of the record and other remedies for breach of statutory duties imposed by the Data Protection Act 1998. Orbis, an English company established by two British former public officials, had produced the ‘Steele Dossier’ in 2016. Buzzfeed News had published an online article and made accessible, via link, sixteen memoranda from the Dossier. Within that dossier, the claimants alleged that ‘Memorandum 112’ contained personal data relating to them, which are inaccurate and had been proceeded by Orbis in ways which are unfair, unlawful or otherwise non-compliant with the First Data Protection Principle. The claim sought a declaration that the data are inaccurate, orders for blocking, erasure, destruction and rectification of the data, an order that Orbis inform those to whom it disclosed Memorandum 112 of the inaccuracies, and compensation.
The Court directed a rectification of Orbis’ records, and awarded compensation of £18,000 to each of the first and second claimants for the loss of autonomy, distress and reputational damage caused by the breaches of duty. The Court did not consider any further remedy would be required.
Gavin Millar QC, Kirsten Sjovoll and Hugh Tomlinson QC were involved in this case.