This is a very important decision and one which the Investigator Sector should use as a precedent.
From CMS – International Law and Tax experts:
The claimant had been a student at Loughborough University and was suspected by the police of rape and sexual assault. The University provided the police with the claimant’s full name, address and date of birth, all of which had previously been submitted by the claimant on a registration form. The University disclosed this information to the police in advance of a written request for the same. The claimant was subsequently arrested by the police at his address, but was never charged with either rape or sexual assault. The claimant alleged that the disclosure of his personal information by the University in the absence of a written request and without his consent constituted i) a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) and ii) a breach of contract.
Chris Brogan’s comments: This High Court judgment blows out of the water the advice from the ICO and what was formerly ACPO on Section 29 requests. Should the PI industry be smart enough, here is an opportunity for them. If the Police can verbally make a Section 29 request, then why cannot an investigator in private practice who is investigating/preventing a crime do the same? – I still think that a Data Controller would be mad to respond to a PI (but there are exceptions to that) We have here yet another great opportunity for the Private Investigation industry. This judgement also reinforces what I have repeatedly said over the years, the ICO is not always right in his interpretation of the law.
Originally from: CMS – International Law and Tax experts Link to the actual Judgment: – http://uk.practicallaw.com/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1248119592605&ssbinary=true