Supreme Court clarifies law on police retention of personal data

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in R (Catt) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis & another; R (T) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] UKSC 9.  In this judgment (available here), the Supreme Court ruled that the police retention of narrative information about an individual’s activities, even when conducted in public, may interfere with the right to respect for privacy under article 8 and thus require justification.  However, the retention of information on the facts of the two cases before the court was found to have been lawful and proportionate. 

 

The case of Catt concerned police retention of information about a long-term peaceful protestor.  The case of T concerned retention of information about an alleged neighbour dispute.  Ms T had earlier in the proceedings secured the agreement of the Commissioner to destroy her data at the conclusion of the case.

 

Ms T was represented by Ruth Brander of Doughty Street, led by Paul Bowen QC of Brick Court Chambers.  Jude Bunting of Doughty Street, led by Nathalie Lieven QC of Landmark Chambers, intervened in the Catt appeal on behalf of the Network for Police Monitoring (NetPol).  A press statement from NetPol is available here.

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