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Mishcon de Reya successfully acts for editor of Disability News Service in data protection matter

Posted on 10 June 2022

Mishcon de Reya has successfully acted for the editor of Disability News Service, John Pring, in his bid to ensure that the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) responded to his data subject access request, in compliance with its legal duties under the UK GDPR. 

Pring attempted for two-and-a-half years to obtain details of emails and other information written about him by DWP’s communications department, even though the department had a legal duty to release it within one month.  

In June 2022, the DWP finally released 90 pages of emails, that include information about John Pring. Within the released emails, there are a small number which confirm errors made by DWP ministers and civil servants. 

Partner Mark Deem and Senior Data Protection Specialist Jon Baines advised John in this matter on a pro bono basis. 

Jon Baines commented: “On any view it is remarkable – and greatly concerning – that it has taken two-and-a-half years for DWP to comply with John’s subject access request. Unfortunately, the Information Commissioner’s Office decided (and seem to decide as a matter of course) that it was not for them to take enforcement action in individual cases like John’s. But this means that a worrying justice gap can emerge where a data controller fails to comply with a request, and the ICO choose not to order them to do so.” 

Related Coverage

Disability News Coverage 

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