European Data Protection Digest

ICO Concerned About Benefit Fraud Plan

PERSONAL PRIVACY—UK

August 13, 2010

Citing concerns about privacy, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has requested a meeting with coalition ministers to explain their plans to use credit reference agencies to gather evidence of benefit fraud, The Register reports. In a statement issued Wednesday, Graham said he hopes the government will "hold to the good practice of considering the data protection implications of policies at the earliest stage." Graham indicated it is appropriate to share credit reference data where fraud is suspected, the report states, but stressed, "A common sense approach should be applied to information sharing. This includes letting people know how their information will be processed." Civil liberties groups, meanwhile, are raising concerns that the government's plan will result in a "disproportionate invasion of privacy."
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