ICO blog: ICO to write to 1,200 potential blacklisted workers

Today marks another step forward in our work to help those included on the construction industry blacklist, as we send out the first of around 1,200 further letters to individuals who we believe may have been on the list.

We’re asking those people to reply to us and provide some form of identification if they would like us to check whether the information included on the list is about them. If it is, then they will receive a copy of their information.

How much detail they’ll receive in response to their enquiry will vary in each case. The ‘blacklist’ consists of a list of names plus index cards, but not every name has a corresponding index card. Some of the names listed have other details recorded alongside them, such as National Insurance numbers and dates of birth, but some cards contain very little additional information and what they do contain is often out of date or inaccurate. That is why we’ve not been able to write to more people in the past.

In particular the addresses on the index cards are mostly out of date or incomplete so instead we have used National Insurance numbers in order to find an up to date address. This means that the addresses we have begun writing to have not been taken directly from the blacklist, but have instead been provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We sent the DWP around 1,700 sets of details in the cases where we had a full National Insurance number. They were then able to check them against their records, providing us with up-to-date addresses where there was a match with their records.

There were around 500 or so cases where the DWP were not able to provide an address. In around half of these cases this was because the person had died, while the rest did not match with information on their system.

This is not the first time we’ve written out to people on the blacklist. Earlier this year, we wrote to 103 people in the cases where we had the individual’s address and were able to establish its accuracy with the help of Equifax.

In total, we’ve now taken over 4,000 calls from individuals wanting to know if their name was included on the blacklist, using the fast-track process we established from day one. We have also received over 1,200 written requests, from which 467 individuals have been provided with copies of their information. That figure will continue to grow in the coming weeks, as we help more and more people.

We’ve also set up a webpage that brings together information on the blacklist, for anyone who is concerned they may have been included on it.

David SmithAs well as providing Data Protection leadership across the ICO, David Smith has direct responsibility for oversight of its Strategic Liaison Division which develops and manages the ICO’s relations with its key stakeholders.
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