ICO loses its appeal against First-Tier Tribunal’s Experian ruling

The Upper Tribunal has dismissed, on 23 April, the ICO’s appeal against the First Tier Tribunal decision of 20 February 2023 on Experian.

Stephen Bonner, ICO Deputy Commissioner, said:

“The credit reference agency industry holds data on almost every adult in the UK. Information is screened, traded, profiled and enhanced to provide direct marketing services, and it is vital that this must happen in line with the law and in a transparent and fair way.

"That is why this was an important appeal for us to make, accepting the valuable role of the Tribunal to provide scrutiny of our decisions. It is regrettable that the flaws identified by the Upper Tribunal did not extend to overturning the First-tier Tribunal’s judgment, but there is definite value on the clarity we have now received on several key points.

“The ICO will take stock of today’s judgment and carefully consider our next steps, including whether to appeal."

The ICO issued an enforcement notice on the company in October 2020 due to concerns with the extent and nature of Experian’s data processing in the light of the GDPR’s transparency requirements. The First Tier Tribunal had concluded that Experian’s Consumer Information Portal provided significant transparency with prominent and accessible information to individuals about Experian’s processing.