Technical briefing: Data protection law – an employer may not be vicariously liable for an employee’s actions

Of interest to all working in governance

On 1 April, the UK Supreme Court published its judgement in the case of WM Morrison Supermarkets plc (Morrisons) v Various Claimants, allowing the appeal and ruling that Morrisons cannot be held liable for the publication on a file sharing website of the personal information of 98,998 of its employees or former employees by a disgruntled employee.

In 2019, the Court of Appeal had ruled that Morrisons was vicariously liable for its employee’s actions but the Supreme Court has overturned that ruling, on the basis that the actions were not on behalf of Morrisons’ business, but in the employee’s own interests.

The full judgment can be found here:

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