Minister’s Waste Disposal Raises Data Protection Questions

Oliver Letwin’s plan of dumping parliamentary documents in public bins might come to the attention of the Information Commissioner depending on what was in them. Certainly it is not the sort of Freedom of Information through pro-active dissemination that the FOI Act has in mind.

Data Protection covers the whole life cycle of information up to and including destruction and disposal. Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has recently had to sign an undertaking to the Information Commissioner because staff wrongly used a disposal room as temporary storage and had 10,000 patient records destroyed as normal waste. Other incidents of mistaken loss and disposal of data have resulted in similar enforcement by the Commissioner after the cost and trouble of an investigation for the organisations concerned.

All organisations dealing with personal data should have policies in place to deal with disposal of waste containing personal information and be able to show how they are made known to all concened and enforced. Written agreements with waste contractors are also required if they are involved in handling this sort of material.

The Business Law Solicitors at Forbes regularly advises public and private bodies on Data Protection policies and compliance. Contact the team by email to discuss your requirements.

Daniel Milnes

About Daniel Milnes

Dan is a Partner and Head of Contracts & Projects. Dan’s blogs cover the areas in which his specialities lie in commercial, regulatory and governance law which cover a broad range of matters dealing with contracts, projects, corporate and group structures, funding and compliance with a range of legal regimes including data protection. This also involves writing and advising on various forms of commercial contracts including joint ventures, development and construction agreements and intellectual property contracts including IT agreements, sponsorships and other rights licensing arrangements.
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