Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 08 Feb 2018
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complains the Council breached his data protection rights. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint as it is too late and it is reasonable to expect him to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- Mr X complains the Council sold his personal data by selling his details from the electoral roll against his wishes. He says he has been complaining since 2015.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)
- We normally expect someone to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner if they have a complaint about data protection. However, we may decide to investigate if we think there are good reasons. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A (6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information provided by Mr X in his complaint form. He commented on the draft version of this decision.
What I found
- Mr X says he told the Council it could not sell his personal details which it holds on the electoral roll.
- He says the Council deliberately breached the Data Protection Act by selling his data to a third party.
- The Local Government Act 1974 (section 26B) says a complaint must be made to us within 12 months from the day the complainant had notice of the matter. However, we may disapply that requirement for a complaint if there is good reason to do so.
- Parliament established the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to consider breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Providing information without the persons’ consent is a breach of the DPA. As Mr X’s complaint is solely or about this breach, it is reasonable to expect him to approach the ICO.
- I will not investigate this complaint. This is because it is late and Mr X can ask the Information Commissioner to consider his complaint.
Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman