Feeds

Info commissioner issues guidance on database trading

Data protection obligations

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a guidance note advising businesses on how to comply with the Data Protection Act when buying and selling databases containing customers' confidential information.

The guidance is intended for use only when a database is sold because a business is insolvent, closing down, or being sold. In these circumstances the Data Protection Act does not prevent the sale of a database containing the details of individual customers, providing certain requirements are met.

The requirements:

  • The seller must make it clear that the buyer can only use the data for the purposes for which it was originally collected. The database should therefore only be sold to a business that will make the same or similar use of it.
  • The buyer must obtain the consent of the individuals referred to on the database if it wishes to use the data for a new purpose.
  • The buyer should tell the individuals referred to on the database about the change of ownership.
  • The buyer can only use the database for unsolicited marketing if the individuals referred to in it have agreed to receive such marketing, or receipt of such marketing is "likely to be within their reasonable expectations".
  • Where this is the case the buyer can only market products and services similar to those that have been advertised through the database before.
  • The buyer must delete any unnecessary personal information held on the database.

The guidance does not cover the buying and selling of confidential information in other circumstances, where consent will usually be required.

"It is important that businesses buying or selling customer databases are aware of their data protection obligations," ICO senior guidance and promotion manager Dave Evans said. "This good practice note will help businesses understand what they need to do to ensure that personal information on the databases is sufficiently protected."

See: the guidance note (2 page/34KB PDF)

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.