Feeds

No data protection exemption for YouTube baby battle video

'Domestic purposes' doesn't apply on internet

Boost IT visibility and business value

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.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?