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Transcript of Information Law
"Freedom of information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head till it drops off my shoulders."
"You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."
EIR 2004: statutory exceptions
FOIA: exemptions from disclosure
"the team is professionally adept and commercially astute"
Freedom of Information
Duties on "public authorities" to:
Publish information proactively
Respond to requests for information
as defined in the Act
includes subsidiaries of public authorities
Information accessible to applicant by other means
Information intended for future publication
Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters
Certificates under ss. 23 and 24: supplementary provisions
Relations within the United Kingdom
Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities
Court records, etc
Formulation of government policy etc
Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs
Communications with Her Majesty, etc and honours
Health and safety
Information provided in confidence
Legal professional privilege
Prohibitions on disclosure
Manifestly unreasonable requests
Requests formulated in too a general a manner
Material in the course of completion, unfinished documents and incomplete data
International relations, defence, national security or public safety
The course of justice and inquiries exception
Intellectual property rights
Confidentiality of proceedings
Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information
Interests of the person who provided the information to the public authority
Protection of the environment
Information on emissions
protects rights and privacy of individuals
governs the way:
Data protection principles
Personal data must be:
Fairly and lawfully processed
Processed for specified purposes
Adequate, relevant and not excessive
Accurate and up to date
Not kept for longer than is necessary
Processed in line with individuals' rights
Not transferred outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection
Subject access requests
12 March 2003
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Data Protection Act 1998
Privacy & Electronic Communication Regulations
Human Rights Act 1998
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
Common law confidentiality
Personal data means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified -
a) from those data, or
b) from those data and other information which in possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,
includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.
Processing, in relation to information or data, means obtaining, recording or holding the information of data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data.
Data Controller means...a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed.
Data processor, in relation to personal data, means any person (other than an employee of the data controller) who processes the data on behalf of the data controller.
public decision notices
monetary penalty notices
criminal charges under FOIA, EIR and DPA
civil claims eg damage/distress arising from breach of the DPA
...and the court of public opinion