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URGENT: Data Protection Act 1998 Breach...

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  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    started a topic URGENT: Data Protection Act 1998 Breach...

    URGENT: Data Protection Act 1998 Breach...

    ...by two organisations (confirmed by ICO), suggestions on what if anything I can do next?

    Hello again LegalBegagles!

    I am looking for some advice on what I am able to do about the matter that I am going to try and explain in as much detail as possible.

    I have a keen interest in astronomy, doing a lot of research in my time in the many years I have had internet access. I joined an astronomy society, one of two that I know of in Norfolk, namely Norwich Astronomical Society ("NAS") located on Toad Lane, Thwaite St. Mary, near Norwich in around November 2011, and was a member until around October 2012 when I was asked not to renew my membership. The reasons given were somewhat confusing but seem to boil down to one of the members not liking me for whatever reason and as a result, from my perspective, seems to have been on a malicious campaign to have me booted out, even fabricating some nonsense alledging that I had told another member to "f**k off" when I have documentary evidence from the chairman at the time that the individual concerned stated that I never said anything like it. Anyway, to cut a long story short, that was one of many false allegations perpetrated by one member of that society that I cannot name here, but I do know her name.

    In February 2014, I contacted another society, Breckland Astronomical Society ("BAS"), located near Ellingham, in Norfolk to enquire about joining them. To begin with they were friendly, and I thought I was going to be accepted as a member after a few visits, making some jokes, laughing, and trying to be a normal member of the public as it were. On 3rd October 2014, I recieved an email from the then chairman saying "due to your unfortunate condition, unfortunately, membership of the society would not be suitible for you. The committee have carefully considered your application and decided that in the best inetersts of yourself and the society, it should be rejected." I am no expert, but it seems that this society has just blatantly admitted to discrimination? From the email I recieved, and from the emails I later recieved of an exchange between NAS and BAS, they admit that they banned me and the email from 3/10/14 actually proves that this is because of my "condition".

    On 31st January, I visited the Norwich Astronomical Society hoping that they had put the past behind them as it had been some time since I had been there. I visited to see a "super blue blood moon" ("SBBM") that was actually forecast to happen early the next morning at around 2:20am. I was excited as I had never seen one before. And because I live in Norwich, I cannot really see much due to light pollution. When I arrived, I noticed that ITV Anglia were filming there and decided to wait outside. After around 5 minutes of waiting, I spotted a member emerging from one side of the clubhouse (namely the toilets) and proceeding to enter the main clubhouse door. I stopped him and asked to speak to the chairman. A tall male with a dark coloured hooded long coat appeared claiming to be the chairman (I now know that he is not the chairman but in fact the secretary) and asked what the problem was. I stated as above that I was wondering if I could hang around for the SBBM, and if he was OK with that. He recognised me somehow, and asked me if I was "Thomas XXXXXXX" which I obviously confirmed I was. I am guessing he recognised me from my motorcycle which was parked behind me around 15 feet away. After I confirmed who I was, he launched in to what I would describe as a verbal assault saying that I was banned, prohibited, forbidden and that if I did not leave, he would call the police and have me arrested for tresspass. I was briefly in a state of shock at this point, but I still kept my cool with him and asked why I was banned as I was unaware of any ban at that time (I am still not aware of any ban to this day as it has not been confirmed, but seems to be in place never the less, even though they have not stated it). He then accused me of "swearing" at another member which is absolutely false and I have documentary evidence to prove that this is an utter fabrication of the highest order. To avoid being arrested for some made up nonsense like "trespassing", I hopped on my bike and started to reverse out but did not start it. As I did so, I clearly heard the secretary call me a "f**king retard". I responded by calling him an "a**hole". He answered me by saying "I heard that" and I responded by saying "good, that's what you get for calling me a f**king retard". Secretary walked away in to the clubhouse saying nothing further. I backed out parking on the other side of a PUBLIC ROAD calling a friend to try and calm my absolute rage at him at this stage, although I did not show it to him directly. I spend about an hour on the phone to 2 different friends and afterwards I took off home. On 2nd February 2018, I filed a complaint by email directly to the chairman who, in his response seems to be saying that he cannot prove that the events I have stated and is esstentially calling me a liar, and supporting the secretary (which emails between them seem to suggest) where in one of them the line "he got short order from our chairman". This is because he was able to fabricate a tweet from my Twitter account where he changed the code to replace "idiots" with "retards" and then used it to make out that I said it. It was a tweet that I sent to Parking Eye Ltd ("PE") after they were demanding £75 to provide the police with data relating to a hit and run incident where my motorcycle was hit causing damage while it was parked up and unattended in an ASDA car park and the police asked PE for the data of vehicle registration numbers for a set time period. As a result of this, the police did not pursue it any further.

    Fast forward...

    I made a subject access request on May 5th 2018 to both societies with a set list of documents that I was after. I recieved an acknowledgment from both societies after several days and I waited for them to come through, sending consistent reminders so that they did not forget the obligations that they were under under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 ("DPA") . I did not get a response from NAS until 7th June 2018 which came in the post from thier solicitor via special/recorded delivery. I found several documents that I asked for missing and wrote back by email to ask for them again. I did not recieve a reply. I tried again, no reply. I recieved an email from BAS on or about 9th June 2018 attaching some very interesting information including, confirming that the two societies had been exchanging emails between them about me. I requested copies of those emails and was told that they were exempt from disclosure. I did not believe this, so I requested them again, and got an almost identical answer.

    As a result of this, I contacted the Information Commisioners Office ("ICO") and filed a formal complaint against both societies for breaching my rights under the DPA and believed that the two concerned societies had been discussing my details without my express permission. BAS tried to claim "legitimate interest" as a rather poor excuse for what they did, and the ICO has written to me stating that both societies had not complied with the DPA under shedule 2. After seeing the emails myself, it also appears that they tried to withhold them as it contains defamation against my name and did not want to face a court claim for defamation of character.

    After recieving the ICO's decision, I wrote to the two societies again asking for them to propose a resolution. I recieved a reply from BAS within 10 minutes attaching the email chain between the two aformentioned societies and saying that they had implemented the changed reccomended by the ICO. I have yet to recieve any response from NAS.

    Given what is a reasonably short version of what has happened, are there any legal experts here that can suggest on what my next steps are please?
    Last edited by «THÖMÅS®©™»; 17th November 2018, 04:31:AM.

  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    For now maybe, but not once the case is concluded. Also, as far as i am concerned, considering the ICO ruling, they have no defence for that they did.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2222
    replied
    I hope they told you that they were exempt from the article 17 request, as the data was still required to defend your impending legal action?

    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    I did it as I was struggling to put together a proper case, and the help I was getting here dried up.

    besides, I plan to claim £1,500 from each so costs can potentially be recovered at as it stands now £150 each.

    I have done everything I can think of to resolve the matter without involving a solicitor or the courts, however, it appears to me that they actually want me to take them to court, so now they can pay for that as well when and if I win, which I probably will given that I have the ICO ruling on my side against both societies as you all know.

    Solicitor stated more or less what has been said here, that I have a legal basis for a claim. She is looking in to case law to see if there have been any similar claims and indeed what the potential value of my claim is. Personally, considering the nature of the breach and the amount of fabricated nonsense they both included in said breaches, I feel that £1,500 + any solicitors costs is more than reasonable. I brought up defamation as well, but I am well out of time for it, so they should count themselves lucky in that regard, however, it does explain the constant delays and stalling for time.

    It may also be worth mentioning that thier last letter to me after sending them an Article 17 GDPR 2018 request was a threat of reporting me for harassment, not that I see how trying to resolve a matter that they have caused by illegally sharing my data without my permission in breach of the DPA 1998. I feel that that letter is an intimidation attempt designed to stop me from trying to pursue them, but I am smarter than this and have involved a solicitor now, so I cannot be accused of anything. I plan to have that request as part of my case when and if this matter ends up before the courts, which I suspect it probably will, let's see what my solicitor has to say when she reports back to me.

    Feel free to comment in the meantime.

    I shall update again once I hear back from my solicitor in due course.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by «THÖMÅS®©™»; 3rd October 2019, 02:26:AM. Reason: Correccted a typo.. :(

    Leave a comment:


  • pt2537
    replied
    Originally posted by 2222 View Post

    I seem to recall that you were going to claim around £500 from each society, ie £1000 in total. With such a small claim, Spending £300 on a solicitor, just to discuss the matter, makes no sense to me.


    Yep agree there, cant see CPR 27.14(2)(g) coming to aid the OP here.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2222
    replied


    I seem to recall that you were going to claim around £500 from each society, ie £1000 in total. With such a small claim, Spending £300 on a solicitor, just to discuss the matter, makes no sense to me.



    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    A brief update foor you all 2222, Amethyst...

    I have an appointment with a solicitor for an initial consultation but have to pay £300 for it, reasonable given that some wanted the better part of £1,200 just to look at my papers!!! This also helps me decide on what my next steps are since I want to avoid filing my case then they invent some story and have it kicked out of court and I end up owing them thousands, so £300 for a consultation is very reasonable given the circumstances of my case, which I should be able to claim back from them as solicitors costs should I win in court.

    Will update this thread in due course once I have seen my solicitor.

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for thier help so far...

    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    After researching some more societies, it would appear that Lowestoft and Yarmouth also know about this matter because the chairman was contacted by NAS, its the same guy, I am sure, same name and everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    Thanks for shooting my case down 2222. Charming.

    What has annoyed me is that they did what they did purposely to cause upset by spreading misleading and false information between them. I would not be surprised if they spread it further since that is what I believe they are prepared to do to prevent me from being able to use my own equipment in a dark place as the city has to much light pollution! At least 2 members have not gone back that I know of since this DPA matter came up, but I guess I could expose them in a Google+ review right? Saying how corrupt they are, how they call people like me a "f***ing retard", and breaching the DPA with false and misleading claims. That may not be good for them as a society!

    Then the whole world will know what a bunch of idiots they really are and indeed how corrupt they are!

    Leave a comment:


  • 2222
    replied
    The reasons why they booted you out appear perfectly legal. If you thought otherwise you could have challenged them at the time. As an example of why others may think the ban was entirely fair: if an astronomical club is in a quiet area, and you insist on turning up late at night on a noisy motorbike, that may well upset the neighbours.

    As it is, you have been completely eaten up by resentment over what you perceive as a grave injustice. I fear that you have lost years of your life over this, and it looks as though you are going to spend months/years trying to bring this DPA case. You would do far better emotionally to forgive them and move on. Losing the DPA case, as seems likely based on present progress, would make you even more resentful over yet more perceived injustice. Winning it, will be unfulfilling, as it's not really the DPA issues which are eating you up.

    What is more, if you do succeed in issuing proceedings that look like they might succeed, the defendants just have to pay £500 (or whatever you finally claim) and that's an end to the matter. No apology, no day in court, nothing but a small cheque.

    Incidentally, I suspect that the real reason you are having so much trouble drafting the proceedings is that you cannot separate in your own mind the trivial technical breaches of the DPA (which you can sue about) from your underlying feelings about the rejection (which you cannot). Fundamentally, the DPA breaches are of no importance, but you've nothing else to sue them about. If you do win, the judge may only award you a tiny amount, which will just make you feel worse.

    Most likely is that you never manage to get the claim issued, or it will get struck out before a trial.

    Do yourself a favour. Move on. The whole claim is a mistake. Drop it, and get on with making the most of your life.

    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    The reason that one booted me out was because of invented claims from another member, on more than one occasion, and the other because I ride a motorcycle and have Aspergers, which I have in writing from the then chairman from 3rd October 2014. Funny how that is never mentioned. I wish you would look at the file as i am sure you would see what I am talking about.

    Regardless, they both breached DPA 1998 as confirmed by the ICO. I don't know what incidents that they both invented has besides a side note for the courts to do with DPA. I have a strong case for DPA, and that is why they are both being like this.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2222
    replied
    I have no idea whether what they said was inaccurate, but you have not convinced me that it was outrageous. You mentioned some sort of near-disaster with a laser. If there was a risk of blinding someone, however small, then that in itself would warrant immediate exclusion.

    They would have a moral obligation to inform the other society of the risk, if they also had the same sort of equipment. I have no idea how that fits into DPA requirements, but I have no doubt about what's right and moral in the circumstances.

    You mentioned that the laser incident was unintentional. I certainly hope so! If it had been intentional, it would have been a very, very serious criminal offence. Accidentally blinding someone would not have been alright, either.

    I really wonder whether you lack the insight to see the fundamental point in all this: Societies like this normally welcome new members, yet two of them rejected you. It doesn't appear to have been done lightly, either. You need to consider why they did that, and whether you can alter anything about yourself so as to be more successful in future.

    And bear in mind that these were astronomical societies. I expect that a fair proportion of members have Asperger's.

    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    2222, what they did and what they said was outrageous, and inaccurate! I am sure I have a claim for defamation, but I am out of time for claim that, statute barred in short. They should consider themselves lucky.

    NAS spread misleading, and false information to another society, they have probably told every other society in the country as well. Regardless, they have made it clear that they will do everything they possibly can to make my life as difficult as possible regardless of the effect it has.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2222
    replied
    I will make, once again, the two fundamental points you should consider.

    1. There are over 170 posts on this thread. There is a load of information on how to draft your claim, and yet you seem unable to get anywhere close to a workable draft. So, now is the time to give up. Or save up a great deal of money, and pay a professional.

    2. This entire claim is misguided. Private clubs are allowed to discriminate. Nevertheless, you are trying to punish them for discriminating against you on account of your Asperger's, and you have latched onto some fairly trivial breaches of the DPA. Were you capable of drafting the claim, you might succeed in court and obtain a small damages award. However, the upshot of that would be utterly disastrous for you. Word would get out, and I doubt that there would be a club of any sort within 50 miles of Norwich that would let you join.

    Really, you should think about whether you can get more help with your Asperger's, and I suggest you see your GP and ask to be referred to a Speech and Language Therapist.

    Leave a comment:


  • «THÖMÅS®©™»
    replied
    2222, I am not "deliberately missing the point". This is not a "hoax" either. I am very serious about this!

    Leave a comment:

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