Abject Failure of the ICO is beyond belief

Abject Failure of the ICO is beyond belief

9:00 AM, 29th March 2019, About 3 years ago 11

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The Landlords Alliance along with several of our members formally complained to the Information Commissioner about the application process for a selective licence from Sefton council. In essence our concerns were and are as follows:

1) Sefton ask for unnecessary and excessive information by demanding details of landlords properties licensed elsewhere. Sefton quote the licensing of HMO’s 1996 as justification for requesting this information. Having said that Sefton have failed to state how they will keep this data current and up to date, thus contravening GDPR.

2) Sefton state in their privacy policy that they will retain the data for 3 years after expiry of the licence. We now have become aware as a result of an email from Sefton to one of our members that Sefton will in fact retain this data for 6 years. The Authority therefore has induced landlords to sign up to a scheme with an incorrect/false privacy policy. What does this mean in practical terms?.

If a landlord were to obtain a licence then sell his property a year later, Sefton would retain details of his other properties around the country for a period of 10 years, ie 4 years remaining on the licence plus another 6 as per their revised privacy policy.

Sefton state that they will write every year to licensed landlords asking for updates. Two problems here. Firstly there is no legal obligation on landlords to assist Sefton remain GDPR compliant and secondly if the landlord is not licensed any longer in Sefton as a result of disposing of his property, Sefton have no business writing to that landlord at all.

We now have the unbelievable situation where the ICO have refused to intervene, defending their Sefton pals, and now Sefton themselves acknowledge that they are in breach with a flawed privacy policy. It is beyond belief.

We will not be reporting Sefton to the ICO as clearly this organisation is not fit for purpose.

The ICO are not relevant.

We can confirm however that the Information Commissioner continues to waste our time writing to us about data bases. It is stupidity personified. In the meantime landlords are prevented from obtaining licences, because of these major flaws. Sefton also have a history of data breaches.

Landlords we cannot fight your corner without members and without subscriptions. It is not fair, nor is it sustainable to sit on the fence and let others carry the load. Help us to help you.

Join now >> https://landlordsalliance.co.uk/


by John Bullock

18:03 PM, 28th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Larry is it because we are mere commoners and Local Authorities and ICO are now our BETTERS. We must know our place?

by AA

9:10 AM, 29th March 2019, About 3 years ago

I think the word you are looking for to describe the ICO is "Quango".
On the application form where it asks "Do you have properties elsewhere" your response should be " Refer to land registry"
"Are they licensed" your response "Please contact relevent LA"
Dont do the work for them.
In life when someone you meet is bigger than you, you don't meet them head on, you side step and, stick your foot out, a little push, and let them fall from their inertia.

by Peter Fredericks

11:09 AM, 29th March 2019, About 3 years ago

I wholly agree. We are the plebs... not proper citizens with modern constitutional rights, just Crown subjects with no real civil rights. Because we can't plead a constitutional amendment as in a modern democracy, all we have is Judicial Review (which costs a fortune and the local authority will merely amend the scheme again) or we place reliance on a so-called Regulator like the ICO.
The ICO is a very poor regulator in my experience. I am actually now complaining to the ICO after months and months of waiting that the complaints system itself does not work! They have tried to help at one point but the Council will not play ball with two subject access requests (under the pre-GDPR regime) over a year late in being answered. The ICO will not prosecute them so my recourse is to sue..... as if!
The underlying problem with the ICO is that it is run by and for the self-serving benefit of the civil servants who work in it, by and large amateurs operating in a culture of complacency and failure and unlikely to last more than all of five minutes in a job elsewhere (except in local government of course!).
We need wholesale reform and empowerment of the people but the Westminster system is just too broken to deliver on that.

by Larry Sweeney

14:17 PM, 29th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Agree completely with AA and Peter.
The only way is to examine the fine print. The useless councils simply cannot get it right. Where they fail to comply , we do not proceed. Such is their ignorance and arrogance that they fail to acknowledge errors and keep bullying in which case we cannot nor should we proceed with their flawed application schemes. Its so sad. They introduce licensing schemes but fail to comply legally meaning landlords dont get the benefit of these fantastic schemes.😂🤔

by Anne Nixon

10:16 AM, 30th March 2019, About 3 years ago

I currently have an appeal submitted to the Residential Property Tribunal regarding the heavy handed treatment I have received from the local council during the HMO licencing process.
In an email to the council I had asked for guidance about a fire escape route issue and instead of responding to my email they put a prohibition order put on one of my rooms which in turn put a local charge on my deeds and so my mortgage lender was informed causing them to come back to me with lots of hoops to jump through to reassure them that I am not a rogue landlord.
In my appeal I have expressed concern that the council's actions broke GDPR in that my information should have been used in a proportionate way and shared only as a last resort and I have also asked why the council needed details of properties I own in other areas of the country.
Watch this space. I'm not sure this will get me anywhere but I felt questions needed to be asked.

by Alan Bromley

17:14 PM, 30th March 2019, About 3 years ago

GDPR was brought in largely to create a framework within which the gathering, trading and subsequent use of personal data can be justified by commercial and non-commercial organizations. It's purpose is not primarily to protect the individual. Perhaps to biggest get-out for any organization is 'legitimate interest', a catch-all terms which allows an organization to use your data for virtually any purpose it wishes to provided it can justify a need for that data.

That justification can simply be for marketing purposes, as I found out earlier this year. For example, Royal Mail sells your personal details gathered via its redirection services to companies such as Experian which, in turn, sells it on to companies that request your whereabouts.

While companies have a duty to protect your personal details from hackers, they are perfectly able to pass them around and use them as they wish.

by Larry Sweeney

22:20 PM, 31st March 2019, About 3 years ago

Anne Nixon, contact me at the Alliance. We have some information which should help with your appeal and which we are happy to share with you.

by Peter Fredericks

10:56 AM, 1st April 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Larry Sweeney at 31/03/2019 - 22:20
Could you please share it with me as I have had a nightmare experience with Salford City Council?

by Larry Sweeney

11:08 AM, 1st April 2019, About 3 years ago

Off Course Peter.
Please email the Alliance and we will get it to you by return email.

by Joel Davis

21:49 PM, 1st April 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Alan Bromley at 30/03/2019 - 17:14
Totally agree. You could say the title general "data protection" regulation puts the GDPR in breach of the GDPR because it has a misleading emphasis on protection of personal data. The predominant purpose is actually to protect organisations who wish to share data which might otherwise be found to be a good old fashioned breach of confidentiatlity.
Most laypersons would automatically think their data would be kept private by any organisation who says they comply with GDPR when in fact it can be passed about extensively.

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