Feeds

No data protection exemption for YouTube baby battle video

'Domestic purposes' doesn't apply on internet

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The woman at the centre of a battle with social services over the future of her unborn baby will not be able to claim an exemption from the Data Protection Act, a legal expert has warned.

Vanessa Brookes of Leamington Spa was recently told by a social worker that the local authority would apply for an interim court order to take her baby from her and place it with foster parents on birth.

Worried about the outcome of the meeting, Brookes secretly tape recorded it and published the recording on video sharing website YouTube.[The clip has now been removed for violating YouTube's terms of use.]

Local authority Calderdale Council has objected to that publication and has said it will take legal action to have it taken down because, it says, it breaches the Data Protection Act (DPA).

"The Council believes that the YouTube recording breaches the Data Protection Act, since the recording was made without the knowledge or consent of our member of staff," said a statement from Calderdale Council. "We have concerns that, because the case involves court proceedings, it could prejudice child protection and safeguarding outcomes."

Dr Chris Pounder, a data protection specialist at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said that the DPA has an exemption in section 36 that applies when recordings like this are used for domestic purposes. This exemption excludes all of the data protection principles and rights, and applies, for example, when parents take their video cameras to record their children's performance in a school play.

But, he said, as soon as the recording was published online it is ineligible for the "'domestic purposes" exemption because of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in a case involving Mrs Bodil Lindqvist in Sweden.

Lindqvist was a church activist who published personal details of parishioners on a website as part of a computing project. She said publishing details should not breach the EU's Data Protection Directive, but the ECJ disagreed.

The ECJ stated: "That [domestic purpose] exception must therefore be interpreted as relating only to activities which are carried out in the course of private or family life of individuals, which is clearly not the case with the processing of personal data consisting in publication on the internet so that those data are made accessible to an indefinite number of people."

The Lindqvist judgment means that Vanessa Brookes loses the section 36 exemption and the personal data is fully subject to the DPA and the enforcement powers of the Information Commissioner, said Pounder.

He added: "The exemption is also lost, even if I put up online information about myself. However, in this case, there are very few data protection obligations as there is my consent. The problems arise when I put someone else's personal data on these web-sites in the absence of consent" he said.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

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

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
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
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.