Guidance on social networking and on-line forums has been issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
It explains that the exemption for personal data for personal, family or household affairs does not cover organisational use of on-line forums.
Organisations that use social media are subject to the Data Protection Act as are individuals processing personal data for non-domestic purposes and individuals who use social media for purposes such as running a sole trader business.
When running an on-line forum where the exemption does not apply, reasonable steps should be taken to check the accuracy of any personal data posted by third parties.
Download of guide here.