European Data Protection Digest

Former Investigator: Agency Should Have Prosecuted

PRIVACY LAW—UK

December 9, 2011

A former senior investigator at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said that the ICO did not prosecute journalists for unlawfully obtaining personal data during an investigation, despite sufficient evidence, Out-Law.com reports. The investigation, which began in 2002, reportedly found more than 3,757 requests for private information on behalf of 333 journalists, but the ICO chose not to prosecute because it "didn't have the evidence that those journalists knew beyond all reasonable doubt that the information had been obtained illegally," said the ICO's David Smith. Former investigator Alex Owens said in a recent witness statement, however, that the number of requests made by journalists had been underreported.
Full Story