PL&B UK E-news, Issue 37
- Four men found guilty of selling police data
- High Courts reaffirms the Durant interpretation of personal data
1. Four men found guilty of selling police data
Four UK citizens were given two-year conditional discharges for selling police-owned personal data to the press. The men sold confidential information on celebrities, including East Enders actors, to the Sunday Mirror and the Mail on Sunday. The individuals had easy access to police data as one of them, a former civilian communications officer, worked at Tooting police station in London. He accessed the data, which was then passed on to the others; two private investigators, and a retired police officer.
Blackfriars crown court in central London gave the men their two-year conditional discharges on 15th April based on conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, and breaching the Data Protection Act.
2. High Courts reaffirms the Durant interpretation of personal data
The High Court ruling in the case of Smith v Lloyds TSB Bank, of 23rd February 2005, confirms that the term “personal data” should be interpreted narrowly under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Mr Smith was seeking subject access to documents relating to loans to Display Electronics, where he had worked as Managing Director and controlling shareholder. The company’s loan was partly secured by a mortgage on Mr Smith’s home. After he lost his home as a result of the company going into liquidation, there had been litigation between Mr Smith and the Bank.
Mr Smith claimed that the loan documents contained personal data, to which he had been denied access.
Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2005