Builder blacklist boss hit with £5,000 fine
List users may be next in the dock
Ian Kerr, the man behind the Consulting Association, which held and maintained a blacklist of builders, has been fined £5,000 by Knutsford Crown Court.
The company was raided by the Information Commissioner's Office in March when the watchdog made its first ever use of an Enforcement Notice to shut it down.
The Consulting Association (TCA) kept a list of over 3,213 workers including information on their personal relationships and union activities. Building firms would send TCA lists of prospective staff for vetting. The service cost £3,000 a year plus £2.20 per name checked. Some information dated back to the 1970s.
Building companies paid TCA a total of £478,937 between April 2006 and February 2009.
The ICO said it was minded to take enforcement action against the 17 building firms that paid TCA for information. These firms have received Preliminary Enforcement notices and formal action will follow shortly depending on their reaction.
Kerr, 66, was prosecuted for not registering as a data registrar and must pay the fine plus £1,187 in costs.
The ICO has had queries from 1,827 people about the blacklist and as a result has returned information to 120 people.
Stronger penalties for data protection offences are coming into force in April, the government is also considering legislation to outlaw such blacklists. The investigation was sparked by newspaper reports.
Kerr was found guilty at Macclesfield Magistrates Court in May. It was referred to the Crown Court because magistrates believed the maximum fine available to them was "hopelessly inadequate". The maximum fine available to them was £5,000, the same as that imposed by the Crown Court. ®
Don't know why he bothered
I'd just set up a single web page for searching on FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc. If the builders in question are under 25 they've probably posted more than enough self-incriminating evidence without the need to populate and maintain my own database.
Problem solved and plenty of time for a pint at lunchtime.
Fine May Be Small
There are 120 people who have asked for their records. If Carter Ruck work on conditional fee business that's a lot of libel gravy still to come for false records and defamation/libel/slander. Should be open and shut with the Data Commisioners win. IANAL just my interpretation
> You cant give a bad reference.
> You can only list their good things. Or just say "We have nothing good to say about this person." > You cant list stuff like "Lazy, Boneidle etc"
Utter nonsense, you just made that up.
In the UK, you can say anything you like in a reference. However, one of either parties may sue you in a civil court if have lied etc.
And yes, I have given a reference that stated:
"John was employed at [NHS Hospital] for 2 weeks, after which (as his line manager) I decided to terminate his employment due to his inability to spend time at work actually working & because the skills listed on his CV were either incorrect or he was determined not to demonstrate them in the course of his duties."
That was over 6 months ago & we / I still haven't been sued yet.