Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called for a new public interest defence to be introduced to protect journalists accused of data protection breaches. He said that journalists should be able to “go after information in the public interest without fear of being prosecuted”. This proposal has yet to receive wider backing from the coalition but it is thought that a new defence would be added to the Data Protection Act for journalists who unlawfully obtain personal data (contrary to section 55) where they do so as part of reporting a wider story in the public interest.

Guardian news report – 20 October 2014