030204 Durant v FSA - New Guidance Press Release

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030204 Durant v FSA - New Guidance Press Release Powered By Docstoc
					3 February 2004

                           New guidance
   Durant v Financial Services Authority Court of Appeal’s ruling

The Information Commissioner has produced guidance on two key areas of the Data
Protection Act 1998 (DPA) following the Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Durant v
Financial Services Authority case (8 December 2003).

The judgment provided helpful guidance and greater clarity regarding the meaning of
“personal data” and “relevant filing system”. The Commissioner recognises these
have always been complex issues and that any case law in this area is helpful. The
Commissioner particularly welcomes the fact that the Court has reiterated the
fundamental link between data protection and privacy rights.

The guidance “The Durant case and its impact on the interpretation of the Data
Protection Act 1998” focuses on two key issues considered by the Court:
   1) What makes “data” “personal” within the meaning of personal data?
   2) What is meant by a “relevant filing system”?
The Commissioner’s guidance provides a detailed interpretation of these terms,
together with some helpful examples to illustrate the impact of the case on our
understanding of these fundamental legal concepts in the Act. The guidance is
aimed in particular at specialist data protection officers and professional advisers.

In exercising his responsibilities, including dealing with existing and future casework,
the Commissioner and his staff will take full account of the judgment.

Notes to editors
   1. A copy of the guidance can be accessed at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

   2. The Court of Appeal announced its ruling on the Durant v Financial Services Authority on 8
      December 2003

   3. The role of the Information Commissioner is to be the independent champion of public
      openness and personal privacy with various specific responsibilities set out in the Data
      Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and other legislation.

   4. For further media information contact Pritie Billimoria, Esther-Kate Toye, Lucy Thom, Chris
      Smith or Janet Rafferty on 020 7282 2960

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