The Act contains a number of specific provisions and exemptions dealing with processing for "special purposes", which covers journalism, academic, artistic and literary purposes. These are the limited United Kingdom implementation of the requirement in Article 85 of the GDPR for Member States to reconcile the protection of personal data with the right to freedom of expression and they are modelled on the provisions in the Data Protection Act 1998.
Special Categories of Data- Lawful basis for processing:
Schedule 1 (para 13) permits the disclosure of special categories of personal data (sensitive data) and criminal convictions data for "special purposes", provided it is in the substantial public interest and carried out with a view to the publication of the personal data by any person and the controller reasonably believes the publication would be in the public interest. It must also be carried out in connection with (i) the commission of an unlawful act (ii) dishonesty, malpractice or other seriously improper conduct (iii) unfitness or incompetence of a personal (iv) mismanagement in the administration of a body/association or (v) a failure in services provided by a body/association. This would seem to permit in limited circumstance the disclosure of data to investigative journalists.
Exemptions based on Art 85 (2):
Schedule 2 (Part 5): Where personal data are processed for special purposes, with a view to publication by a person of journalistic, academic artistic or literary material and the controller reasonably believes that the publication would be in the public interest, then the "listed GDPR" provisions will not apply to the extent that the controller reasonably believes that the application of those provisions is incompatible with the special purposes. Controllers must have regard to the ‘special importance of the public interest in the freedom of expression and information’ and to relevant codes of practice such as the OFCOM Broadcasting Code.