By Dan Cooper, Helena Marttila & Fredericka Argent

Following the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal, the UK government commissioned an in-depth inquiry into the accusations made against the British press to be conducted by Lord Justice Leveson.  The “Leveson Inquiry” was a full-scale investigation, which culminated in an approximately 2000-page report published in November 2012.  The report  recommends significant, wide-ranging changes to the structure and regulation of news media reporting in the UK, including changes to the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 (the “DPA”) and the role of the UK’s data privacy regulator, the ICO.   

On 7 January 2013, the ICO published a response to the Leveson report. The first half of the ICO’s response deals with Leveson’s recommendations concerning the ICO, including the suggestion that the ICO should improve its understanding of the data protection regime regarding the press. In its response, the ICO promises to issue numerous policies and guidance relating to the use of personal data by the press. These include, for example, the introduction of a new dedicated section on the ICO website providing the public with information on their data rights regarding the media, the publication of a Code of Practice to be observed by the press when processing personal data, and an Annual Report to Parliament which provides regular updates on the effectiveness of any ICO guidelines and other measures.

Continue Reading The ICO Responds to the Leveson Report