Newspapers Accused of 'Illegal' Gathering of Personal Information

Alleged 'illegal' gathering of people's personal information – such as bank details and telephone numbers – is said to have taken place between several newspapers, including, at least, one Scots reporter.

Splashes today's Sunday Herald newspaper, the claims are based on an investigation by the Information Commissioners's Office nine years ago, called Motorman – details of which have been shared with the paper by a former special branch police officer, an Alec Owens.

The names of several well-known Scots, such as Rangers FC manager, Ally McCoist, are said to have been discovered by the Motorman investigation. The allegation is that the personal details have been illegally obtained by subterfuge, aka 'blagging'.

The Sunday Herald says around 20 newspapers and magazines have been named in the investigation, but not it, nor its sister titles, The Herald and Evening Times.

And it goes on to say: “[Owens] also claimed an unnamed Scottish journalist on an unnamed Scottish paper was one of the 'top ten' targets for prosecution among over 300 reporters listed.”

No names of those accused of having been involved in the alleged blagging are mentioned in the article.

The paper also claims Owens has shared his knowledge with an investigation into possible phone-hacking and breaches of data protection regulations being conducted by Strathclyde Police, called Operation Rubicon.