Damages for breach of privacy on Facebook
Ae where the family member claimed that the claimant had been treated for mental illness and self-harming.
The case followed an earlier High Court decision in the case of GYH v Persons Unknown where Cohen Davis obtained an injunction for a sex worker, who won a privacy case following posts on review websites, which claimed that she had had HIV. The reference to HIV was considered as private information as it referred to her health condition.
In the case where damages awarded for breach of privacy on Facebook, it was shown that even when family members share information among themselves (only 35 people had access to the information), where the information is considered to be private, the sharing member of the family could face legal action for misuse of private information.
In the Facebook post, which was subjected to the claim, the defendant did not refer to the claimant by name but he gave sufficient information to allow other family members to identify her. Furthermore, even though, the post was online for only three hours, Judge Lewis sitting in the High Court decided that this was sufficient to breach the woman right to private life.
The judgement sends a clear message that posting private information on Facebook is unlawful if you do not have the consent other subject of the information to the publication. This is the case even if the information is published on a close Facebook Group.