One simple legal change that could’ve prevented the entire hacking scandal
July 14, 2011
The Data Protection Act makes provision for anyone to access information held on them by a given organisation. However, it has several exemptions from this, including:
Personal data which are processed only for the special purposes are exempt [if] the processing is undertaken with a view to the publication by any person of any journalistic, literary or artistic material.
You don’t have a right to find out what information newspapers have on you. In other words, if a newspaper has hacked your phone, you don’t have the right to find that out.
I don’t think journalists can be trusted with that exemption. I think it’s time for it to be removed.