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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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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A Modest Proposal for Improving FOI: Leave it Alone

The deservedly celebrated blogger FOI Man recently wrote about changes (http://www.foiman.com/archives/382) he thought would help FOI to function better. Inspired by this, I wondered what my changes would be – but on a long car journey, I realised that I actually thought that FOI should be left alone. Even though certain commentators will bend your […]

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And another thing….

I blogged about vexatious punters last week, with the egregious example of an applicant plaguing the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames with a variety of unacceptable messages. A decision published by the Tribunal yesterday delivers a vital message to the aggrieved applicant. If you think your public authority is up to something then “the proper course of […]

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Transparency, according to Mr Maude

The Cabinet Office, run by the urbane and slightly saturnine Francis Maude, champions the Government’s Transparency agenda. Transparency is the process of publishing (or obliging others to publish) data on a wide variety of subjects. Although Transparency and FOI are clearly nodding acquaintances, they don’t spend a lot of time together socially. Transparency is about […]

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How not to get information

I reviewed some Information Commissioner FOI decisions recently for a presentation, and as always, I was drawn to the vexatious ones, both actual and alleged. There’s an intriguing one where a resident had a vehicular disagreement with a council lawnmower and made FOIs as the insurance case went on. I’ve had my fair share of […]

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