Data Protection

Commercial Law – Data Protection – Recent Developments in the Law (February 08)

There have been a number of recent developments in data protection law:

  • A decision of the High Court in the case of Ezsias v The Welsh Ministers [2007] clarifies the scope of subject access rights and is likely to be welcomed by data controllers. The judgment, which clarifies the lengths to which organisations must go when complying with subject access requests (“SARs”), has significantly altered the scope of the obligations placed on organisations when fulfilling such requests. A full legal update on this issue will be available in the near future.
  • The UK House of Commons Justice Committee has recently produced recommendations that new data protection legislation should give wider powers the Information Commissioner. Commentators are as of yet unsure as to whether such a recommendation should be supported.
  • It has been noted that the current laws concerning data protection and privacy are unfortunately having limited success in achieving their aim of granting individuals control of their personal information. Furthermore, in the long term, many commentators believe that there is a serious danger that such laws will fail entirely. If this speculation is accurate, members of the public will not be able to stipulate how their information should be used and by whom. One of the key supporters of this view is the think tank Demos, their support of this opinion being voiced in a report at the end of 2007.
  • The UK Government has requested that the Information Commissioner conducts a review into the use of personal information in the public and private sectors. A number of areas shall be reviewed, and the ways in which shared personal information can be used positively by both public and private organisations will be highlighted.

Please contact us for more information on data protection law at


© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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