16:16 14 July 2017
The Information Commissioner’s Office has ruled that Virgin Trains did not breach data protection laws when it released CCTV images of Jeremy Corbyn trying to find a seat on one of its services.
The CCTV images were release in response to a footage of the Labour leader sitting on the floor of the train was published. In the video, Corbyn complained about “ram-packed” train saying that overcrowding was too common for many rail passengers.
Virgin disputed Corbyn comments and released CCTV images of him walking past empty seats before the video was shot.
A statement by Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s head of enforcement, said: “In this case, the ICO’s view was that Virgin had a legitimate interest, namely correcting what it deemed to be misleading news reports that were potentially damaging to its reputation and commercial interests."
“It would not have been possible to achieve Virgin’s legitimate interests without publishing Mr Corbyn’s image. Virgin could only show that there were empty seats on Mr Corbyn’s journey if they showed Mr Corbyn on that journey.”
However, Eckersley said Virgin was wrong to publish pictures of others on the train because “infringed on the privacy of passengers who were simply minding their own business”.
Nevertheless, ICO is not taking action against Virgin as only three people were recognisable in the footage and none of them have contacted the organisation to complain.
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