Liverpool breached data protection act

The information commissioner has said that Liverpool City Council acted illegally during the Matt Finnegan affair.

The council has been found guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act by publishing private email correspondence between the former director of media, Finnegan, and the former council leader Mike Storey.

The Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) made the ruling last week, two years after the council had published the emails as part of a continuing squabble at the senior management level (PRWeek, 27 October 2005).

A statement from the office reads: ‘The ICO has provided the council with recommendations to ensure compliance with the Act in the future.’

If the council contravenes the act again, the office will issue an enforcement notice, which could lead to prosecution, a spokeswoman added.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool City Council said: ‘The coun­cil ­accepts the findings of the Information Commissioner and notes that he has recognised the exceptional circumstances that led to the complaint.’

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