According to Lord Justice Leveson
The UK data protection regime suffers from an unenviable reputation, perhaps not wholly merited, but nevertheless important to understand at the outset. To say that it is little known or understood by the public, regarded as a regulatory inconvenience in the business world, and viewed as marginal and technical among legal practitioners (including by our higher courts), might be regarded as a little unfair by the more well-informed, but is perhaps not so far from the truth. [page 999, of report of An inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press]
But I’m not sure (thank to Gary Slapper for pointing this out)
And in fairness to Brian, he does go on to say
And yet the subject-matter of the data protection regime, how personal information about individuals is acquired, used and traded for business purposes, could hardly be more fundamental to issues of personal integrity, particularly in a world of ever-accelerating information technology capability [ibid]
Perhaps this is why data protection and its practical application appeal so much to some odd people, and why it is our littlest-known-most-requested piece of legislation.