£120k fine for TV company for data protection breaches at maternity clinic

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

The ICO has issued a fine of £120,000 to True Visions Productions for breaches of data protection legislation.

The case involves the company recording patients at a maternity clinic at a Cambridge hospital. They set up CCTV style cameras to record patients in the clinics. None of the footage that was recorded was viewed by any employees of the TV company unless consent had been received from the patients – in fact, due to general concerns about the recording the TV company stopped filming and destroyed all of the recordings which were never broadcast.

Even though the recordings were not used, the ICO felt that the company had failed to adequately inform clinic patients that they were being recorded and that options for not being recorded were limited.

Whilst TVP had posted notices including letters from the NHS clinic’s Trust around the clinic these notices were inadequate particularly considering the sensitive nature of the patient’s discussions in the clinic (which were mainly around concerns regarding pregnancy). The notices themselves did not provide adequate explanations to the patients and indicated that patients would not be filmed without consent, which was not the case as the cameras were on all the time.

An ICO spokesperson said:

Patients would not have expected to have been filmed in this situation, and many will have been very distressed when they learned such a private and potentially traumatic moment had been recorded.

“The recorded footage would have included the sensitive personal data of patients who could already be suffering anxiety and stress.

“We recognise the public interest in programmes that aim to educate and inform, but those responsible for making them must operate within the law, particularly when the subject involves the processing of highly sensitive medical information.

“In particular, we took the view that there was no valid reason for the television company to have failed to adequately inform patients in advance that they would be filmed.

It should be noted that this enforcement from the ICO is under old data protection (Data Protection Act 1998) as the incident took place in 2017, pre-GDPR.

More To Explore

Eat. Sleep. GDPR. Repeat.

We live and breathe GDPR and ePrivacy compliance, so you don’t have too. Our GDPR UNLIMITED helpline is all about offering you help and support, whenever you need it most. As well as the unlimited helpline, you get up to 4 hours “hands-on” help each month, which we can configure to help you in anyway you need such as a GDPR review, or acting as your DPO.

As well as the unlimited helpline and hands-on help you get GDPR and privacy updates, access to our GDPR knowledge centre and webinars.

Unlimited email & phone support

Unlimited email and phone support. Email or organise a voice call as often as you need each month.​

Up to 4 hours "hands-on" help per month

We use these "hands-on" hours to do the GDPR work for you, such as reviews, acting as your DPO, checking DPIA, dealing with breaches, training your staff, etc. (Additional hours: £100+VAT per hour)

Online resources

Our Knowledge Centre gives you access to information, guidance, topic related guides and other tools to support your GDPR and PECR compliance

Updates, alerts & briefings

We provide updates and alerts and a monthly compliance briefing. You can either sign into the Knowledge Centre or sign up via email to receive an email every time we add a new update or alert

DPO services

Whether mandated or not we can act as your Data Protection Officer (DPO) and manage your day to day compliance

Webinars, workshops & training

Whether updates on the latest issue, workshops or team training, it's all included in your monthly retainer.

LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? join our email list

Sign up for monthly briefings and the occasional emails about our webinars and services

Want to know more about how we use your data? Check out our privacy policy