HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 c1614W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to ensure that people are not disadvantaged through living at an address at which the previous occupants had poor credit records; and if she will make a statement. [153367]

Mr. Sutcliffe

Businesses, including credit reference agencies, holding personal data about individuals on their computer systems have to comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. They must register with the Information Commissioner and comply with the principles of the Act. The Commissioner can take enforcement action against businesses who do not comply.

When a credit reference agency receives a legitimate request for information about an individual they can provide information about: The individual; Other family members living within the same household or other people who have lived as part of the same family and; People with the same, or very similar name, living at the same address or who have, in the past, lived with them at the same address or last address.

Agencies must not report information about other people who have lived at the same address but not at the same time as the individual or where it is otherwise reasonable to believe that they have no financial connection with the individual.

Any individual can ask for their credit reference file to be corrected if it contains information about other people with whom they have no financial connection or is otherwise incorrect.

Further information can be obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.