In M M v United Kingdom the European Court of Human Rights held that the operation of arrangements in Northern Ireland for the retention and disclosure of criminal record information (similar to those in England and Wales) breached the right to respect for private life in Article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this case, a woman had been cautioned for child abduction after she disappeared with her grandson for two days during a family crisis. She was rejected for jobs over six years later when the caution was disclosed in criminal record checks. In view of the extent to which the arrangements for the retention and disclosure of criminal record information interfered with a data subjects' right to private life, the interference could not be said to be in accordance with the law. Comment: When section 79(2) of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 comes into force, an enhanced CRB certificate and any relevant police information will only be sent to the individual applicant, giving him or her the opportunity to review and challenge any of this information before it is released to an employer or potential employer. But, this will address only a minor part of the criticisms made by the court of the entire legal framework under which criminal record information is both retained and disclosed. It remains to be seen whether the Government will take action.
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