A case involving a former employee of a student housing company against his employer in Scotland is a rare example of the use of the legal proceedings exemption as a defence against an alleged breach of UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules. The sheriff court in Scotland dismissed the case after the claimant’s allegations were found to be “lacking in specification” and “irrelevant”. However, Pinsent Masons data protection law specialist Kathryn Wynn said the decision provides helpful guidance for controllers regarding the extent they can rely on the legal proceedings exemption. Wynn said, “The decision makes it clear that the intention of the data protection laws is not to stand in the way of a fair trial or for controllers to ‘shoot themselves in the foot’ by deleting personal data or withholding personal data for fear of breaching the data protection laws.”
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