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ICO statement on Upper Tribunal ruling

The Upper Tribunal has ruled on the our action to require Experian Limited to change how it handles people’s personal data, dismissing our appeal of the First-tier Tribunal’s ruling of 20 February 2023.

The First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) has previously ruled on our action to require Experian Limited to change how it handles people’s personal data. The Judgment supported aspects of our decision, while allowing Experian’s appeal in other areas.

Stephen Bonner, ICO Deputy Commissioner, says:

“The credit reference agency industry holds data on almost every adult in the UK. Information is screened, traded, profiled and enhanced to provide direct marketing services, and it is vital that this must happen in line with the law and in a transparent and fair way.

“That is why this was an important appeal for us to make, accepting the valuable role of the Tribunal to provide scrutiny of our decisions. It is regrettable that the flaws identified by the Upper Tribunal did not extend to overturning the First-tier Tribunal’s judgment, but there is definite value on the clarity we have now received on several key points.

“The ICO will take stock of today’s judgment and carefully consider our next steps, including whether to appeal.”

Today’s ruling follows a hearing that took place over 3 days on 6-8 February 2024.

We issued the Enforcement Notice to Experian Limited in October 2020 following a two-year investigation into how the company and two other major credit reference agencies (CRAs) were using the personal information of UK adults for direct marketing purposes.

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