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15 August 2022

Claiming for Breach of Confidence after a Cyberattack: Darren Lee Warren v DSG Retail Limited [2021] EWHC 2168 (QB) [Case Note]

Chua Ying-Hong

Published on e-First 15 August 2022

Abstract:
In Darren Lee Warren v DSG Retail Limited [2021] EWHC 2168 (QB), the English High Court struck out Darren Lee Warren’s claim against DSG Retail Limited for breach of confidence after the latter suffered a cyberattack which compromised the claimant’s personal data. In doing so, the High Court found that it was clear that the claimant did not allege any positive conduct by the defendant said to constitute a breach of confidence, and his claim was in fact that the defendant failed in its alleged duties to provide sufficient security for his data. Since the cause of action in breach of confidence imposed a negative obligation not to disclose confidential information, and did not impose a data security duty, it had no realistic prospect of success. This case note argues that the decision of the English High Court to strike out the claim in breach of confidence was correct, and that the same outcome should be reached should a similar claim be brought in Singapore.