Mark Townsend reports:
The ease with which private investigators can access highly personal and sensitive information stored in secure government databases has been exposed by a report that will intensify calls to regulate the industry.
An investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme reveals how a London firm of private detectives sold personal data on individuals, including details of bank accounts, benefit claims and even a national insurance number.
Undercover reporters also recorded Stephen Anderson, director of private investigators Crown Intelligence, disclosing medical details including the name of one of the volunteers’ doctors, recent appointments with a GP and, in one instance, confirmation of a medical condition. On several occasions, the investigator provided information for payment that appears to be covered by the Data Protection Act, which makes it an offence to “obtain or disclose data without permission or procure the disclosure to another person”.
Read more on The Guardian.