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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47364
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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There, I am looking advice with data disclosure...

Customer Question

Hi there, I am looking for some advice with data disclosure... essentially we are a business and feel that another business has disclosed information about us that is against data protection act... please help!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you please explain your situation in a bit more detail?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sure, we have a supplier that we have used in the past. I have a contract with NATO to provide training. NATO payments have been very slow and a promised payment did not make it to us before Christmas... I then over the Christmas period tried to arrange a factoring service... which was not that easy.. I did speak with the supplier that was 2 weeks overdue. I did tell them that I will only then be able to factor in the new year and be able to pay next week.
I could not meet there requirements for proof as I only just got the factoring offer they wanted proof of... so.. they have now emailed me and a series of other people in my industry in the same email that we are overdue, the exact amounts, my invoice numbers and what is outstanding without my consent...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience. The issue here is that you are a business and the Data Protection Act does not apply to businesses. It provides rights associated with the processing of ‘personal data’ and that means data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from such data (section 1, DPA). So it will cover information about individuals, such as customers, suppliers, etc. but they have to be individuals rather than businesses.
Therefore, if another business has disclosed information about your business, such as the details they shared in this case, that is not a breach of data protection regulations. Had they disclosed your home address, phone number, or any other personal details about you, or others in your business, then that would be a breach of data protection (as long as they were entrusted with that data in the first place).
So you need to try and deal with this via other means. For example, there may have been a confidentiality agreement between you and that party when you agreed the terms of work, which could result in a breach of contract. Even in the absence of such a clause you could try and argue there was an implied duty of confidentiality, although that would be more difficult to pursue.
Also to take the matter further you need to show you have suffered losses. So for example clear evidence you have suffered lost business as a result. Without losses you cannot take it further.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to make a claim for losses, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there Ben,
Thank you for that information. Another point to raise, is that we told them we have to go to another supplier to deliver the service, which they understood previously, but they have now said they are going to contact me client direct and tell them why things changed... are they allowed to do this?
Thank you,
Mike.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
*my not me!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mike, strictly speaking they can do this - it is not unlawful to do so.
Are you considering a claim for losses? Do you need details n that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, have not been any losses yet... but this could impact and create major losses if they actually do contact the client... not to mention the reputational damage they have already caused in a situation where we were clearly stuck due to the Christmas period... and we kept them informed all through the period.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The issue is that what they say is likely to be true, even if you had reasons for it, so telling the truth, even to a third party and in the absence of specific confidentiality restrictions is not unlawful
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have checked for an NDA as these are generally always used. What we have found is that they sent us their NDA, which we signed and returned, but we cant seem to track down a return. This was all done by email. Where do I stand on that, is the NDA in place technically if I cannot prove their signature on their own NDA?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
A signature is not necessarily required for the NDA to be binding. For example a contract could be in existence if there was an offer, acceptance and consideration - so if for example they had offered to work under these terms, you had accepted it by returning the agreement and then you started your contractual relationship, it could be implied that they had accepted these terms too even in the absence of a signature.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, my apologies, I mean to say to you thank you for your assistance.
Regards,
Mike.

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