DATA PROTECTION AND THE PRESS

Following on from an article on this subject recently by James Rann of Warrens Law and Advocacy there is a current story running in the press on the same subject.

Max Mosley, former head of F1, wants to use data protection law to prohibit the press from publishing previously reported stories about his social life. Mr. Mosley is seeking to compel the press to not only cease to report on historic stories (for which he won damages for breach of privacy) but to also erase the data on this to prevent future reporting on the subject. He does not deny the activity originally took place but the retention of this data is now irrelevant and excessive therefore is being processed unlawfully.

The current thread in this long running story about Mr Mosley, and which has already been reported in the national press, is about his alleged funding of an organisation which campaigns to regulate the press (and which, naturally, the press is fighting).

The current action being taken by Mr Mosley follows a High Court judgement that the current regulator is free of influence from Mr Mosley and his family and therefore any stories that he is able to influence the regulator are inaccurate. It is believed to be the first time the Data Protection Act to restrict reporting in the press.

The Data Protection Act, which is soon to be revised and updated, oversees how organisations manage data about individuals and has a broad exemption for the press.