The Information Commissioners Office (Good Practice Notes): “When can I disclose information to a private investigator”, advised that, “Private investigators should use caution when requesting information about individuals from an organisation. In making your request you will also be disclosing personal information about the individual, for example that they are involved in legal proceedings or are a beneficiary. Do not disclose any more information than is necessary for your request to be properly considered by the organisation. Do not deceive or mislead organisations as obtaining the information in this way is likely to be a criminal offence under the Act”… The above mentioned passage is self explanatory and I know that you will be careful about disclosing personal information unnecessarily.
So what is a Data Controller?
A Data Controller is a person who by themselves or with others determines the purposes and the manner in which personal data is processed or might be processed.
A data controller must be a “person” recognised in law, such as: individuals, organisations, or corporate and unincorporated bodies of persons.
when you fulfil your statutory duty to declare yourself or your business or company to the Information commissioner’s office at Wilmslow in Cheshire, you join the published list of “Data Controllers”.
You request a disclosure of information under Sections 29 and 35 of the Data Protection Act 1998. These sections of the Act set out the grounds under which the Private investigator can apply for information to be disclosed. This application must be put in writing (Letter, Fax, e-mail). In practice this method of obtaining information is far from ideal. The Data Controller who has the information in not compelled to release the information and this makes the cumbersome and time consuming process somewhat unpopular, but, it is a method by which we can proceed in our investigations and should be used, “As” and “When”.
We always cover the Data Protection Act and Open Source enquiry methods when we deliver training at: Private Investigator Training UK
Kevin J Regan, Private Investigator Tutor