Kerry Underwood

RELEVANT FILING SYSTEMS, PROPORTIONATE SEARCHES AND PRIVILEGE UNDER DATA PROTECTION ACT

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In

Dawson-Damer and others v Taylor Wessing LLP and others [2019] EWHC 1258 (Ch) (17 May 2019)

the High Court held that the first defendant, a firm of solicitors, was required to search paper files, maintained before the implementation of its electronic filing system, for the claimants’ personal data.

They were a “relevant filing system” for the purposes of section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998.

The first defendant must also search the personal electronic storage spaces of its current employees, where it had not produced evidence to support claims that these searches would be disproportionate.

However, as the data concerned a trust governed by Bahamian law, the claimants had no automatic right to disclosure of legal advice concerning the trust, and the first defendant was entitled to rely on the legal professional privilege exemption where applicable.

This judgment contains guidance on the meaning of “relevant filing system” under the Data Protection Act 1998, which is consistent with the recent ECJ decision in

Tietosuojavaltuutettu v Jehovan todistajat – uskonnollinen yhdyskunta (Case C-25/17) EU:C:2018:57

and rejects the restrictive interpretation in

Durant v Financial Services Authority [2003] EWCA Civ 1746. 

It shows the need to provide evidence if claiming that subject access compliance is disproportionate.

Although decided under the Data Protection Act 1988, repealed and replaced by the Data Protection Act 2018, the law remains the same in this regard and this decision applies to the new Act.

 

Underwoods Solicitors act for Crowe UK LLP, Liquidators in the Cambridge Analytica case

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Written by kerryunderwood

June 7, 2019 at 9:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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