Personal data protection

Data protection is part of privacy law. Collyer Bristow has one of the most experienced teams in the country having given data protection advice and acted in data protection claims routinely since the Data Protection Act was introduced in 1998, represented the core participants in the Leveson Inquiry and acted in much of the phone hacking litigation.

Recent case law has given individuals greater power to challenge businesses and official bodies who do not handle their data lawfully (click here to see recent case law). The rulings make both data protection and misuse of private information more attractive causes of action for claimants.

These decisions are not surprising; they are fully in tune with the new European regulation on data protection, which gives individuals significantly greater power over their data. (Click here to see the timetable for change)

Under the new regulation you will have the right to: 

  • Be told far more about what is being done with your data;
  • Withdraw your consent to the processing of your data at any time;
  • Force inaccurate data to be corrected without undue delay;
  • Force erasure of your data without undue delay in certain circumstances;
  • Take your data away from a company and give it to another one;
  • Not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which “significantly affects” or “produces legal effects” concerning you;
  • Be told if the breach is likely to be a “high risk” to your rights and freedoms.

How we can help you

Under the existing data protection regime we can:

  • Help you make Subject Access Requests or challenge responses to Subject Access Requests;
  • Advise you of the pros and cons of making requests for the removal of inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive data and, if appropriate, make such requests;
  • Help you complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) about data protection breaches;
  • Help you complain to the Information Tribunal if you are not happy with the ICO’s decision or action;
  • Bring civil claims for breach of your data protection rights, as well as claims for misuse of private information including phone hacking.

Under the new regulation we can:

  • Help you enforce your new right to an “effective judicial remedy” by helping you make a complaint to the regulator or court;
  • Help you achieve compensation for breach of your rights, which will include compensation for both “material and immaterial damage”.

Additional information