London’s Metropolitan Police have posted an incredibly inappropriate tweet on their official Twitter account, revealing a snapshot from footage taken using a camera on one of the force’s police helicopters that is a clear breach of the UK’s Data Protection Act.
The photo appears to be of comedian Michael McIntyre, with it being accompanied with the caption: “Whilst on tasking in central London this morning we spotted a certain energetic funny man… Can you guess who?” The DPA protects the privacy of UK citizens by ensuring that data pertaining to them isn’t distributed without their consent, with it only allowed to be revealed in a few select circumstances, such as if the individual has committed a crime where the data serves as relevant evidence.
However, I don’t think that standing on a pavement and doing up the buttons on your suit jacket necessarily counts as a crime, so London’s National Police Air Service have no reason to be tweeting out this image and therefore breaching the Michael McIntyre’s privacy.
There are, of course, those who will say that McIntyre was standing in a public place so this is therefore no big deal, but it’s one thing when a fan is wandering up to him in order to get a photo, and another when it’s the police doing it.
I have no doubt that this tweet will be promptly deleted and followed up with an apology message, but that anyone thought this was a good idea in the first place is mind-boggling in its stupidity.