Non-journalists can rely on journalism exemption (DPA)

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has held that a campaign group can rely on the “special purposes” exemption for journalism in the Data Protection Act (DPA).

The campaign group is investigating and reporting on corruption in a company.  

Four individuals associated with the company made requests under the DPA for access to their personal data, including the source of those data. The campaign group refused their requests on the basis that the journalism exemption applied.

The ICO’s decision complies with its own guidance for the media on data protection and journalism but this is believed to be the first time the exemption for journalism has been extended to a non-media organisation.

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