The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that it is investigating 19 companies, including one construction firm, as part of its Operation Millipede investigation into illegal activities of private investigators.
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has told Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, which is investigating the affair: “From material examined, I can say that in the case of 19 clients falling into the category of active there is evidence of a section 55 and/or data protection breach.”
According to a report in The Independent, the committee has agreed postponing publication of the list of companies for one month until the Information Commissioner has made more progress with his investigation.
Mr Vaz expressed frustration that journalists who used private investigators to snoop on celebrities were being treated differently from companies using the same methods for corporate gain. “In contrast to the rigorous police investigation of those in the media who are accused of being involved in the unlawful trade in information, little if anything seems to have been done to investigate those in other sectors, such as law and insurance,” he said.