Fines

Back to Black

I have what a lot of people would call a blacklist. I call it a blocklist because I can’t shake off the sense that ‘blacklist’ is a racist term. Our language is often coded in ugly ways, and ‘blocklist’ does the job. I maintain a list of people and organisations I...

Pingdemic

On Boxing Day at 12.47pm, millions of people received a badly-written text message. “GET BOOSTED NOW Every adult needs a COVID-19 booster vaccine to protect against Omicron. Get your COVID-19 vaccine or booster. See NHS website for details” The Government confirmed...

An unreasonable opinion

In September, I wrote about the ICO's generous use of the notorious S36 exemption in a request I made. Immediately after Chris Stokel Walker revealed that the ICO had spent £6000+ on chocolate, a group of What Do They Know regulars made some premature requests about...

Problem gambler

We've all been there. You've got some knockoff 'Orwell was right' hokum to please the gambling industry, and a dusty tabloid owned by a media group that makes a lot of money out of bingo and betting have space in amongst the adverts to publish it. Do you really have...

Bitter Chocolate

Just before Christmas 2021, as a thank you gift to 254 staff for their hard work after a challenging year (not my words, but those of the Information Commissioner's Office), someone in the ICO used their corporate credit card to buy them all a box of chocolates from...

The China Syndrome

I don't have an exciting Data Protection origin story. I've heard people talk about coming into DP or FOI to fight for inalienable rights, to battle the evils of surveillance and encroaching government or corporate power. Some people seem to have started work on...