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Thread: Austin Macauley Publishers, Ltd. (formerly Austin & Macauley)

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  1. #11
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Here and there
    If, in three days' time, my name is still publicly displayed on this
    website, you can rest assured that I will be taking legal action.
    Interesting. This is the first time I've seen the DPA being cited in this respect.

    I don't know why s/he's citing Section 6 because that relates to the establishment of the Information Commissioner and the Tribunal and as far as I can see, has little to do with what they're complaining about (i.e. the public revelation of their name). Section 11 also seems to have very little to do with what they're complaining about because that section relates to information processed for direct marketing (i.e. spam).

    Regarding Section 10 of the DPA, the individual would have to prove:

    (a) the processing of those data or their processing for that purpose or in that manner is causing or is likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to him or to another, and

    (b) that damage or distress is or would be unwarranted.

    Arguably, the fact that this individual is authorised by his/her company to send emails to prospective authors in their own name on behalf of the company should raise questions as to whether there is damage or distress given that the contents of the email seem fairly benign and whether such disclosure of their name is unwarranted (which it arguably isn't since it's someone acting on behalf of the company). However, the statutory period for when a response has to be made is 21 days and not 3.

    As a data controller (and I'm really not sure whether you could be regarded as a data controller for these purposes, given that it's a personal correspondence issued in a private capacity), you can get around this Section if any one of four conditions set out in Schedule 2 is met (the most obvious one being where a subject consents to having their name published), but it's not clear whether these apply in this instance.

    You don't say whether this individual's name is available on the company's website. If so, it's possible that this would defeat an action (although you'd need to consult someone who is experienced in the field as this Act is notoriously complicated).

    If this person was serious about suing, they'd have already hired a lawyer who would have sent you a letter. Really, this looks like scare tactics and for those people from Austin & Macauley lurking in this discussion - it's only likely to make people ask more questions and draw more assumptions about how you run your organisation.

    I seem to think that an individual can put a request to a company regarding information that the company may hold on them. If I received an email such as this, I would certainly be tempted to serve such a notice on A&M regarding any information that they have on me and how it's being processed.

    Last edited by Momento Mori; 06-05-2008 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Additional point

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