Monday, January 07, 2008

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Another Clarkson related post:

"I opened my bank statement this morning to find out that someone has set up a direct debit which automatically takes £500 from my account," he said.

"The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again.

"I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake."

No, no, no. Whoever has done this is committing an offence. There is nothing in the DPA which prevents the investigation of alleged offences. Some company's (I assume a telephone company here) DPA policies make it more difficult - they need to determine who you are and why you have a right to the information before they release it outwith their declared disclosure policy but it is not "cannot". Inform the police and they have the powers to obtain the data.

And he was correct in his initial point about the widespread knowledge of your basic account details - every cheque, direct debit or standing order contains the same sort of bank information that was on the HMRC CDs. Those, also contained your address and other details (of which we have yet to be informed?) as well. And I blogged about the ease of setting up direct debits some time ago.

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