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U.S. website is not subject to extraterritorial scope of GDPR, rules UK High Court

We all know that the GPDR has extraterritorial effect in certain circumstances, although the extent of this reach has not really been tested in the UK until now.

In Soriano v. Forensic News LLC and Others [2021] EWHC 56 (QB), the court looked at the extent to which Forensic News could be considered as being subject to GDPR, by virtue of Article 3, in relation to its processing of the claimant’s personal data as part of Forensic News’ journalistic activities. The claimant was unsuccessful as the defendant was found not to have an establishment in the EEA/UK, or offer goods or services there, and as such was not subject to the GDPR. This is likely to be of comfort to organisations that do not have an establishment or offer goods or services in the EEA/UK, but do make their journalistic material available, as it suggests that such organisations are unlikely to be caught by the GDPR on similar facts.

Click here to read a more in-depth analysis of the case.

It is well known that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought with it extraterritorial reach and can apply to a non-EEA/UK organisation in certain circumstances – no small cause for concern, particularly in light of the substantial fines for non-compliance. Beyond regulatory guidance however, in the UK, there has been little case law to test this extraterritorial reach until now.


gdpr, data protection, entertainment & media, emerging technologies