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2019-07-02 00:00:01

PhD Student Defended Dissertation: Violation of the Right to Privacy By Anonymous Comments

jurate-sidlauskiene-gina-disertacija-7721 June 28th, 2019, PhD student Jūratė Šidlauskienė successfully defended her law dissertation: Violation of the Right to Privacy by Anonymous Comments: Criteria Justifying the Application of Website Operators' Liability.

The doctoral thesis analyses the basis of the elements for the assessment of the necessity of restricting the freedom of expression of website operators in a democratic society as formulated by the European Court of Human Rights. The cases of Delfi AS v. Estonia, MTE & Index v. Hungary, Pihl v. Sweden and Tamiz v. the United Kingdom, are examined.

They established and assessed the criteria justifying the application of website operators’ non-contractual civil liability in case of violation of the right to privacy of third parties by anonymous comments.

Research indicates that the key criteria justifying the application of website operators’ civil liability in such cases are the following: (i) the context in which the comments are posted and the content of the comments themselves and (ii) prior measures taken by the website operator to ensure the legality of the comments and actual behaviour after the comments were posted.

Meanwhile, other criteria for the assessment of the necessity of restricting freedom of expression of website operators, distinguished by the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights are to be considered as additional and having no essential impact on the fact of the application of website operators’ civil liability. Yet, it is significant when making a decision on the extent of the application of website operators’ civil liability.