Linguaphone Institute Ltd v Data Protection Registrar  UKIT DA94_31491 (14 July 1995)
Members of the Tribunal: Rear Admiral J W T Walters (Deputy Chairman)
Mr N Watson and Mr J C Richards
(i) The Registrar is satisfied that the appellant has contravened and is contravening Principle 1 of the Data Protection Principles in that it has unfairly obtained and continues to unfairly obtain information to be contained in personal data.
(ii) The Registrar is so satisfied because one of the purposes for which the data are to be held, used or disclosed, namely the purpose of trading in personal information, is not disclosed to the enquirer or customer at the point at which the data are obtained.
The notice directed that the appellant shall cease to trade in, broke, sell or rent for the purposes of direct mail any personal data held by it which was obtained from any enquirer or customer who was not notified, either before or at the point at which the information was obtained, that it would be used for the said purpose, and the notice gave further direction as to the method by which data should be obtained in the future.
"PROVIDED THAT such explanation need not be provided in the case of a telephone enquiry where the data user ascertains that such enquirer has already seen an advertisement of the user containing the relevant explanation."
"(Please) tick here if you do not wish Linguaphone to make your details available to other companies who may wish to mail you offers of goods or services".
This is described by the appellant as the "opt out box".
(a) the company had two purposes at the time they obtained the information, firstly to supply goods, and secondly to trade in lists of names and addresses;
(b) the purpose that is obvious is the supply of goods;
(c) the purpose of list trading is not obvious to the data subject unless clearly stated before the personal information is obtained;
(d) the obligation to obtain the data subject's positive consent for the non obvious use of their data falls upon the data user.
Dated 14 July 1995
J W T Walters