ICO condemns partial release of Operation Motorman files

18/04/2012

The ICO has said that it was an irresponsible act to publish details of more than 1,000 alleged requests by News International journalists to the private investigator Steve Whittamore. The requests for information were for ex-directory telephone numbers, criminal record checks and vehicle registration details, and were published by the Guido Fawkes website on 10 April, run by blogger, Paul Staines.  The personal data of the victims had been redacted.

Staines understands that there have been two applications to the Leveson enquiry on press standards to release the Operation Motorman files.

The ICO said it "strongly condemns" the partial publication of the Operation Motorman files that include some 17,000 entries in total. The ICO recovered the Motorman files during its investigation on Whittamore in 2005. The ICO now says that many people have already made a subject access request to the ICO for their personal information contained in the notebooks, and that the ICO  has established a fast-track service to speed up the process.

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