DPA failure breaches contract

A court in Scotland has decided that a breach of the Data Protection Act constituted a material breach of express terms in a

contract, entitling the other party to terminate. The court ruled that “any breach of a material term” meant any material breach, or possibly any repudiatory breach, though this did not mean that any breach would justify termination. In this particular case the breach impaired the ability of one party to perform an important part of the contract. The decision is a reminder of the importance of including in contracts an obligation to comply with all laws, specifying laws such as the Data Protection Act where particularly relevant, and the need to include suitable warranties and indemnities that personal data is being processed lawfully.

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