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They say that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. But University of Nottingham research on the UK suggests that most data protection violations arise from internet-based activities, direct marketing, financial violations such as credit card fraud and CCTV.

Most problems related to the processing of personal data, such as the unjustified transfer of personal data to third parties, improper and excessive collection and storage, storage or inaccurate information and unlawful disclosure. Other violations were connected to the rights of the data subject to access their personal data including refusal to access or to correct personal data.

The desk and fieldwork research by HRLC examined the existing procedures and the legal consequences concerning data protection violations in the UK.

Professor David Harris, HRLC Co-Director and Professor Emeritus, said: “More and more information is being stored about individuals both by government and privately. This project revealed the great harm that the recording of inaccurate information can cause individuals and the need for them to have accessible and effective remedies when this happens.”

Victims are less likely to pursue their case in the courts as it is often time consuming, costly and difficult to provide evidence of a data protection violation; instead, most victims complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (the national data protection authority). And when seeking redress victims of data protection violations are not motivated by financial gain but rather wish to prevent the recurrence of similar data protection violations due to their psychological and social distress.

The European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) on January 27 published a report that considers the access to data protection remedies across EU states. The report provides an overview of the legal framework and the procedures people can use in cases of data protection violations. It coincided with EU Data Protection Day (January 28).

This draws upon the findings of desk and fieldwork research that University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC)

Visit http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/hrlc/index.aspx


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