INFORMATION COMMISSIONER AND TRIBUNAL DECISIONS - NEXT FOI CASE LAW UPDATE 6TH JUNE 2024. RESERVE YOUR PLACE NOW!

Rights to see personal data at risk

The government’s consultation ‘Data: a new direction‘ proposes to reduce the rights of individuals to obtain their own personal data as part of substantial post-Brexit changes to data protection law.

It proposes several changes based on provisions under the Freedom of Information Act:

  1. allowing subject access requests to be refused if the cost of answering the request exceeds particular limits;
  2. requiring data controllers to advise and assist requesters whose requests are refused on cost grounds; and
  3. permitting burdensome requests to be refused as vexatious.

Responding to the proposals, the Campaign’s director Maurice Frankel said:

“Under the Freedom of Information Act requesters can challenge such refusals by complaining to the ICO, which must investigate and can overturn refusals. This doesn’t happen under Data Protection legislation. The Information Commissioner’s Office normally refuses to enforce subject access rights, telling requesters to go to court instead. Few do because of the high costs. The consultation would extend the grounds for refusals while strengthening the ICO’s ability to ignore complaints. Any comparison with the FOI regime is misleading: the ICO’s ‘hands off’ approach means individual rights would simply be slashed.”

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