Max Mosley sues Google

July 30, 2014 |

Max Mosley has commenced action in the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division in Mosley v. Google Inc & Anr, HQ14X02964.  The relief he is apparently seeking is to compel Google to stop gathering and publishing the images on the basis that Google breached rules on the use of private information, a claim in equity, and data protection, presumably grounded in statute. This has the potential to expand the operation of misuse of private information claims in the UK.  Mosley has been successful in his action against Google in France (see here also) however privacy protection in civil code jurisdictions, in particular France, is greater and the principles to be applied are not analogous.

The coverage is quite significant, not surprising given Mosley’s history of privacy litigation and the nature of the images he wants to remove.  It is covered by Bloomberg here, the Guardian here and Bayou Buzz (for that Louisiana focus) here.

The Sydney Morning Herald covered the story in  Ex-formula one boss Max Mosley sues Google over sex party images which provides:

London: Max Mosley, the former formula one chief, is suing Google for continuing to publish images of him at a sex party.

Mr Mosley, whose father Sir Oswald Mosley was the wartime British fascist leader, won £60,000 damages from the now-defunct Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid in 2008 after an earlier High Court action.

Now he has begun a claim against Google, the search engine, for reproducing images related to the earlier case.

Proceedings have been issued against Google’s British arm and its California-based parent company, claiming that continuing to link to the images is a “misuse of private information” and a breach of data protection laws.

Mr Mosley said: “As the gateway to the internet, Google makes enormous profits and has great influence, so I have not taken this action lightly. But Google should operate within the law rather than according to rules it makes itself. It cannot be allowed to ignore judgments in our courts.”

The 74-year-old former president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the motorsport governing body, won damages from the News of the World after the High Court ruled that the newspaper incorrectly claimed there was a Nazi theme to sex parties he attended.

Mr Mosley said the role play sessions with five prostitutes at a rented basement in Chelsea, west London, were harmless, consensual and private, with no such overtones. His law firm, Payne Hicks Beach, said the new proceedings followed “extensive attempts to persuade Google to resolve the matter outside the courts”.

Mr Mosley has previously won similar cases against Google in France and Germany, which the internet company is appealing against.

A spokesman for Google said: “We have worked with Mr Mosley to address his concerns and taken down hundreds of URLs [internet links] about which he has notified us.”

Mr Mosley’s action comes after a landmark decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union in May, which said Google must consider applications for web links to be removed under the so-called “right to be forgotten”.

It is understood Mr Mosley is unable to use the “right to be forgotten” because, as a public figure, he is outside the terms set out by the European judges.

One Response to “Max Mosley sues Google”

  1. Max Mosley sues Google | Australian Law Blogs

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