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London, UK – 23 May, 2013 — /BackupReview.info/ — A former manager of a health service based at a council-run leisure centre in Southampton has been prosecuted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for unlawfully obtaining sensitive medical information relating to over 2,000 people.
Paul Hedges took the information hoping to use the data for a new fitness company he was setting up. He was prosecuted under section 55 of the Data Protection Act at West Hampshire Magistrates Court yesterday and fined £3,000 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £1,376 prosecution costs.
Mr Hedges, who previously worked as a Community Health Promotions Manager based at Bitterne Leisure Centre, sent the information to his personal email account on 28 April 2011 after being told that he was being made redundant. The 42 year-old had previously been responsible for managing the council’s Active Options GP referral service, where patients would be referred by their GP or other health professional to attend fitness sessions, for a range of conditions including obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and cardiac and mild mental health issues.
The information included sensitive medical details relating to 2,471 patients. The council became aware of their former employee’s actions when they received complaints about patients being approached by Mr Hedges; who had since set up a similar service using the Active Options name and branding.
Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:
Notes to Editors
1. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
3. The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and produces a monthly e-newsletter.
4. Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:
If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 0303 123 9070.
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