Earlier this year, an Employment Tribunal ruled that the Metropolitan Police Service leaked my private data to News International. This is now subject of an appeal by the MPS, and in the hands of the justice system.
However and separate to the above, I am trying to gather as much advice as possible before I secure funding and instigate civil action in the High Court with regards to the serious breach of my private data.
1. News International – After the Employment Tribunal hearing last year, I established from communications to/from The Sun newspaper and the Press Complaints Commission that News International actually holds a ‘large file’ of information about me without my consent.
I knew that the MPS had leaked my personal information, but I did not think for one moment that it was a large file the tabloid newspaper holds. Like any reasonable person, I naturally have concerns with The Sun having unlawful possession of this my private, personal and sensitive work data including medical information.
Under the Data Protection Act Subject Access route, I wrote to Dominic Mohan the Editor of The Sun in February of this year (6 months ago now) about accessing all that information which the newspaper holds about me without my permission. To date, Mr Mohan has neither personally responded to my letter or disclosed the information.
Instead, News International instructed two law firms to communicate with me stating that they were looking into it – six months on, I’m no further. The only option left for me now is to begin civil action against News International, but I need some advice with regards to this and ask if any lawyers or persons who have experience in this area or similar could help me.
Of note, there is no way the information held about me by The Sun (the large file) could have come into its possession legitimately or by normal journalistic practices.
Question – is High Court action against News International the best option for me?
2. Metropolitan Police – As I was an employee of Scotland Yard at the time of the leak of my private data by a person(s) within the force to News International, the Independent Police Complaints Commission won’t carry out an investigation (although a serious data breach has taken place) because it was a complaint by one officer against another.
I have read recently in the news of others who have been dealt with for leaking information to News International, yet with my case nothing will be done which naturally is not good enough especially considering the overwhelming evidence now available.
The only option for me I’m told is an internal investigation by the Met, which I do not have any say in or consulted on despite being the person whose privacy has been invaded. That said, the leak occurred in 2010 and it is now 2012 – which, speaks for itself.
Deborah Glass, the Deputy Chair of the IPCC confirmed to my MP that the commission will not investigate this serious breach of data considering the evidence available to her as to the person(s) likely to have leaked the information to News International.
Question – will action via the High Court and/or the European Court of Human Rights against the Metropolitan Police, help me to get a full and proper investigation into the leaking of my private data?
I know that it was leaked, I am just seeking to establish who the person(s) is, why and for what reward.
The invasion of my privacy has had a profound affect, so I have to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else.
If you can help by offering me any advice on civil action in the High Court or indeed know of someone who can, please let me know. I can be contacted via the form below, by tweeting me on Twitter @kevin_maxwell and by messaging me at www.facebook.com/kevinmaxwell.uk.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – Martin Luther King Jr.
Thanks for reading.