ECHR ruling and implications for data retention

MQT on 2019-02-25
Session date: 
February 25, 2019
Question By: 
Unmesh Desai
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The European Court of Human Rights have ruled that the police must delete data regarding a 94 year old man and his attendance at rallies organised by a violent protest group called Smash EDO as it violated his right to privacy.The database is maintained by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit but is under the supervision of the Metropolitan Police Service. Has the Metropolitan Police Service made an assessment of the wider implications of this case in terms of recording and retaining intelligence which it believes may prevent crime?


ECHR ruling and implications for data retention

ECHR ruling and implications for data retention

Answered By: 
The Mayor

In response to the ECHR ruling, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has reviewed the specific requirements of the judgement and taken the necessary action to comply with the ruling.

The wider implications of the case stretch beyond the MPS and extend to all of UK policing. The judgement asks policing to address its safeguards for the management and retention of the data it collects. In conjunction with the NPCC lead for Information Management, Commissioner Ian Dyson, the MPS and other organisations will be looking at how it ensures those safeguards are addressed. Implications include:


  • (*) an increase in demand for Right of Access request and Right of Erasure requests (under DPA 2018) that would be challenging to address in a timely manner.
  • (*) The potential to review the Management of Police Information (MoPI) guidelines.
  • (*) The need to focus greater resource capacity and information expertise within forces to manage data more effectively.
  • (*) The need to instil a data-mindset in the culture at all levels.