Every time you attack the Data Protection Act, a fairy dies

According to comments reported in the Daily Mail (http://tinyurl.com/bqa5dpm), Baroness Deech says that a school should be able to tell a university that a prospective applicant’s mother is an alcoholic, and their father abandoned them, without fear that the parent or child be able to find out. The inability to share information so vital to […]

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Bah Humbug

If I was a proper FOI requester, I would await the delivery of each response like an excited child on Christmas Eve, willing the appearance of the day when I will receive my presents. Instead, I am very much the adult embodiment of the child I used to be; I have bursts of enthusiasm that […]

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The Joy Of Text

Einstein said he couldn’t predict what weapons the third world war would be fought with, but the fourth war would play out with sticks and stones.  The direction of the FOI arms race is equally hard to predict. Tony Blair’s era in power gave us ‘sofa government’, a term coined to describe the informal, un-minuted […]

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Where did I put that thing?

There was an unusually frank admission in the Register’s recent report (http://tinyurl.com/3k3j3xv) on their home-grown email SNAFU. Roughly 3000 people received an email containing the names and email addresses of roughly 45000 people because, in the Register’s words “The two-stage send process that is the norm for all of our mailers was over-looked because someone […]

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ICO is wrong on back-ups

A bout of insomnia drove me to the laptop, but I was too tired to do anything constructive. After some idle Guardian and Telegraph browsing, I gravitated to WhatDoTheyKnow – depending on your role, you may see it as a vital tool for democracy, or a sphincter-clenching irritant. From my lowly perspective in the private […]

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Cambridge in Thermal Image Sex Shocker

Important privacy news reaches us, hot from the virtual presses of Cambridge-news.co.uk:  http://tinyurl.com/3vbjlgz . The council is sponsoring a plan for surveyors to tour the Cambridge area, using thermal imaging cameras to take pictures of houses. Those that are revealed to have poor insulation will be asked if they want a visit from experts who […]

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A supposedly serious blog post about information security, in which the author unconsciously reveals his jealousy over men who have more hair than him

Once upon a time, MPs made a huge fuss about the risks to Parliamentary privilege of FOI, and the possibility that people could make FOI requests and obtain copies of correspondence from constituents. Under the noble leadership of the quad-bike riding David Maclean, they made an attempt to exclude Parliament from FOI’s scope altogether – […]

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Yes! We have no Bananas!

A few weeks ago, the Independent had a good splash over comments made by an insider in Operation Motorman, the ICO’s investigation into private investigators that started a ball rolling very slowly toward this summer’s phone hacking furore, and the remarkable humbling of Rupert Murdoch. In particular, the Independent’s source claimed that the ICO had […]

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Who regulates the Regulator?

Privacy International’s pugnacious Director Simon Davies had an ace up his sleeve for Right to Know Day last week. Internet Eyes is a daft system where people get access to small business CCTV, in the hope of spotting crime and winning a cash prize. Lonely people poring over grainy images of often unidentifiable convenience store […]

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