The Leveson Report and UK Data Protection

Posted on November 29th, 2012 by

So, the Leveson Report has been published.  Whilst not yet having read all 2000 + pages, the key recommendations that Lord Justice Leveson has made to the Ministry of Justice about the Data Protection Act are:

* Amend s. 32 (journalism, liteature and art exemption) including making it narrower

* Amend the right to compensation under s. 13 so that it includes compensation for pure distress

* Repeal certain procedural provisons around journalism in the DPA

* Consider requiring the ICO to give special regard to the balance of the public interest in freedom of expression alongside the public interest in upholding the DPA

* Bring into force amendments made to s. 55 around increasing sentencing and an enhanced defence for the public interest with respect to journalism

* Extend the prosecuting powers of the ICO to include any offence which also constitutes a breach of the Data Protection Principles

* Impose a new duty on the ICO to consult with the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the exercise of any power to undertake criminal proceedings

* Amend the DPA to reconstitute the ICO as an Information Commission led by a Board of Commissioners

The Report also has a whole part examining the relationship between the Press and Data Protection including comments on the structure and workings of the ICO.