Data Protection Dilemma Over Disability Allowance

Data Protection Dilemma Over Disability Allowance

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2013
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Today in the Islington Tribute, a local newspaper, I found this article regarding data protection. There is now another debate on data protection on Disability Living Allowance(DLA).

The Town Hall is debating whether to share the personal data of disabled people without their consent in order to carry out a “salvaging operation” when benefits are cut.

On Monday night the Communities Review Committee discussed how to personally contact each of the 2,000 people whose Disability Living Allow­ance will be cut in April.

“We need to carry out some sort of rescue plan now before the most vulnerable people are too far down the line in rent arrears and debt,” said Labour councillor Mick O’Sullivan.

Jobcentre Plus holds information on those who will be affected by the cuts. But they will be unable to share the details with the council due to data protection laws.

“All we know is 20 per cent of people on DLA will have their money cut,” said Labour councillor Charlynne Pullen. “We need to write to them directly and tell them they can appeal the decision. But they won’t know they can come to us if even we don’t know who they are.”

Labour councillor Andy Hull said despite the council having “good intentions” it was a civil liberties issue and disabled people could take legal action over their data being shared.

The eight councillors at the meeting voted to call on central government to introduce legislation to “share personal data about the DLA withdrawals with local authorities so advice and assistance can be provided to these most vulnerable residents”.

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