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ICO under fire from Leveson

Lord Leveson has accused the ICO of ‘missing the opportunity’ to tackle press issues when they came to light over a decade ago.

In 2002 the ICO investigated phone hacking and ‘blagging’ under the name Motorman. The investigation found evidence of illegality in the gathering and use of personal data. The Leveson Report states, “an opportunity was missed to address problems in the culture, practices and ethics of the press”.

The ICO responded to the accusation saying that its legal advisors had recommended informal cautioning of journalists and editors as formal proceedings might have had a chilling effect on press freedom.

The Leveson report has made recommendations that Data Protection legislation be strengthened and jail terms of two years applied to those who break the law. The proposals have received criticism from the Prime Minister.

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