Q&As

Are there any remedies available for a person who has had their domestic conversations recorded and distributed to other individuals without their consent?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/09/2016

The following Information Law Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are there any remedies available for a person who has had their domestic conversations recorded and distributed to other individuals without their consent?
  • DPA 1998
  • Breach of confidence and privacy law
  • Breach of confidence
  • Misuse of private information
  • Breach of confidence and the interplay with the Data Protection Act 1998

This Q&A covers private domestic arrangements and for the purposes of this Q&A we have assumed this scenario involves individuals. We have focussed on the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998), breach of confidence and privacy law.

DPA 1998

The DPA 1998 governs processing of personal data in the UK. It obliges processors of such data to comply with eight principles, and gives individuals a right to know what information is held about them. See Practice Note: Key definitions under the DPA 1998—Personal data and Q&A: What is 'personal data' for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998? for the meaning of 'personal data'.

Where the DPA 1998 applies, the person who is processing the data must comply with the principles explained in Practice Note: Data protection principles under the DPA 1998. These include that personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully and must be obtained only for specified and lawful purposes.

DPA 1998, s 36 exempts personal data processed by an individual for personal use as follows:

‘Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family, or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III.’

It will be necessary to consider whether the circumstances fall under this exemption.

Breach of confidence and privacy law

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