Background: I'm based in the UK, specifically in England whilst my brother is in Scotland. We are also both adults.

I have a bit of a weird situation and I wanted to know where I stand legally.

Firstly, I'm estranged from my father and have been for nearly 10 years with absolutely no contact. I do not want any contact with him for a number of reasons including toxic behaviour (which will become apparent below) and I have made him aware multiple times (as I was breaking contact with him) that I do not wish to have any contact with him.

Most of my family have accepted this and will not even discuss my personal life with my father on my express wishes.

My brother on the other hand does have regular contact with my father and recently my father has been making claims that he "cannot move on with his life" without knowing about me specifically and is making threats towards his own life if he cannot "resolve" this. To clarify I don't want my father to take his own life, rather seek help from an appropriate professional.

I don't want my father to know anything about my life or where I am currently living, but my brother has now given me an ultimatum stating he is going to hand over my contact/personal details even without my consent because he can no longer deal with my father's behaviour. I have been explicit in stating he does not have permission to do this.

Can he legally provide my personal information to another person without my consent in this scenario? Is my brother breaking any laws by handing my information over against my wishes?

UPDATE: In relation to being on telephone directories and Internet searches - my father doesn't know my current location and I've legally changed my surname so it would be almost impossible to initially look me up without my brother providing my personal information.


I'm not sure whether this is worth an actual answer or a comment, but I'm adding it as an answer so people can decide.

I don't think you have a concrete way to prevent another private individual from passing on your personal details - in the UK there is the concept of "breach of confidence" that has various statutes backing it, but they are all orientated toward a public or private body violating your confidence or right to privacy, not another private individual you voluntarily shared information with.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the UK has a continued commitment to the ECHR after Brexit) says this:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

  1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

  2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

But again its orientated around public authorities and a brief look at the judicial cases I can find all seem to be orientated around actions against governments or corporations.

There was a case recently in the Netherlands where a grandmother was ordered to remove photos of their grandchild from social media as this was deemed to be a breach of the GDPR, due to not having parental consent. However, reading into the ruling I don't think even it would apply in this case, as the ruling hinged on the social media and public access aspect of the grandmothers distribution.

If the case applied to you, then you could bring a similar action in the UK under the UKs domestic law, which transposes the GDPR into UK law after Brexit. However, you would not be guaranteed to succeed and as noted above there were other considerations that the Netherlands court relied on in its ruling.

You could potentially take out an injunction against your brother forbidding disclosure or publication, but again its unclear as to whether this would succeed against a private individual sharing information with another private individual - you would have to apply to a court for this and as such you would need legal representation, so they could guide you on whether this is a plausible option.

  • Just a minor point but the brother is in Scotland so it would be an interdict not an injunction. – Alan Dev Jan 22 at 9:09
  • In Scotland it would be an interdict or a non-harrassment order, but yes you would need legal advice on whether they apply to your particular circumstances. – JdeBP Jan 23 at 12:45

At the very least such personal information as is listed in a telephone directory or similar public record, or is readily available via an internet search would not be legally protected as private, and could be communicated to the father should the brother choose to do so.

  • Hi David thanks for replying - just to clarify (and I'm not sure if this would change your stance) my father doesn't know my current location and I've legally changed my surname so it would be almost impossible to initially look me up without my brother providing my personal information. – Dave H Jan 21 at 21:32
  • @Dave H I suspect that information about you that is public could nonetheless be given to your father, or anyone else, without legal consequences. I am pretty sure thi8s would be true under US law, but not as sure under UK law, It might be an unfriendly act, but not illegal. However, use of it to contact you might come under an anti-stalking law. – David Siegel Jan 21 at 21:45

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