Heads in the Cloud? The anatomy of a data breach.

A guest post by @foimonkey The accidental release of a substantial amount of personal data by Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau has already been quite widely reported in the media, but as the person responsible for spotting that Newcastle CAB had made this mistake and reporting it to the ICO, I feel it is appropriate to […] →Read more

Summary statistics on FOI enforcement action by the ICO

current Practice recommendations published on ICO website (s48): 0 Information notices published on ICO website (s51): 0 current Enforcement notices published on the ICO website (s52): 0 Certificates of non-compliance with Decision Notices (s54): 0 Use of powers of entry and inspection (s55, Sch 3): 0 Prosecutions for altering/blocking/concealing/destroying records with intent to prevent disclosure […] →Read more

UK Border Agency’s highly questionable interpretation of FOI law

OK, lets back up a bit here to the year 2000 and the reason the Freedom of Information Act 2000 was brought in – the Act was brought in so that the public would have a legal right to access promptly any information held by a public body except where this would be harmful. That […] →Read more

Information Commissioner criticised for “cut and paste” Decision Letter on Royal Household

The Information Commissioner’s formal ruling that the Royal Household is not legally required to answer requests for environmental information has today been criticised by a number of freedom of information experts and activists after it was found to contain unattributed extracts from three Wikipedia articles. Background Environmental information was requested from the Royal Household in […] →Read more

Don’t lose your right to criticise local councils – Save the Derbyshire Principle

The BBC has reported that Rutland Council could be the first local authority to sue for defamation. Lawyers claim the council’s reputation had been damaged and suggested they could sue using the powers the Council now has under the Localism Act 2011. This threatens a long standing principle of English law that prevents local councils […] →Read more

1913 Law Officers Opinion on the tax position of the Duchy of Cornwall

Published here: 1913 Law Officers Opinion on the tax position of the Duchy of Cornwall →Read more

time for a transparency manifesto

Given the fact that in coalition it is hard to get agreement on big policies, especially as there isn’t a lot of spare cash, I thought I would write a list of pro-transparency ideas that would be fairly small and reasonably easily to implement – though not all are uncontentious. I am an eternal optimist […] →Read more

Most coroners not registered for Data Protection

A quick search of the ICO’s Register of Data Controllers for the word “coroner” reveals just 18 records. This does not compare favourably with the dropdown box on the Coroner Society figure of about 110. Only 32 of these are ‘whole time’ coroners the remainder being paid for each case. Now let’s consider whether coroners […] →Read more

Close HMRC’s FOI Loophole

I have set up a petition to close HMRC’s FOI loophole, it is currently awaiting approval. Please sign this as soon as it is approved and promote it in any way you can. It should appear here once it is approved: Ministry of Justice Petitions (‘Civ’ to ‘Con’) Close the HMRC freedom of information loophole […] →Read more

Save England’s oldest statute

The oldest written law currently in force in England is the Distress Act, part of the Statute of Marlborough, 1267 (sources: [1], [2][3]) – but a Law Commission document published in April 2012 reveals that after more seven hundred years on the statute book the Act came very close to being repealed. “As indicated earlier […] →Read more