Disclosure of census data – high court judgment – Panopticon

Posted July 17th, 2012 in census, disclosure, news, privacy by sally

“The High Court has recently handed down a judgment in a really interesting case concerning the legality of disclosures of census data by the UK Statistics Board. Every decade since 1801, householders in England and Wales have been required to complete a national census form. Failure to complete the form amounts to a criminal offence. The most recent census was conducted by the newly established UK Statistics Board (‘the Board’) in 2011. The Board was established by the Statistics and Registration Act 2007 (‘SRA’). Under s. 39(1) SRA, the Board’s employees are subject to a general duty not to disclose personal data acquired pursuant to the census. However, s. 39(4) creates a number of specific exemptions in respect of that general duty. Not least, under s. 39(4)(f), the Board has a specific power to disclose census data amounting to personal data (including sensitive personal data) where the disclosure is made ‘for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom)’.”

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Panopticon, 17th July 2012

Source: www.panopticonblog.com