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DATA-PROTECTION  January 2007

DATA-PROTECTION January 2007

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Subject:

Re: Disclosure

From:

Ian Welton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ian Welton <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 12:25:00 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (265 lines)

I agree mistakes will be made whichever decision process is followed be
that:

1. Considered independently by experts in the relevant fields (in possession
of what should be all of the facts) that have been considered necessary in
formulating any decisions;

2. By an emotional reaction to some of that information or the way it is
presented.

3. By consideration of self interest.

I am not sufficiently informed to know quite which process results in the
lowest rate of acceptable errors, but clearly both need to be open to all
other views and information if their resilience or lack of relevant material
is to be identified and improved upon rather than sustained by spin or if
tested by a type of kite flying result in an apparently singular gyration.

To me the debate for DP (being a part of a structured legal system of
conduct at the least being tacitly agreed to by the participants) has to be
was the process and personal data used in the decisions sound. Adequate
relevant and not excessive, used for purpose type issues.

Given that the initially considered disclosure decision was reversed that
seems to indicate there was something wrong with the decisions involved at
some point.  One can either gloss over that as is often done, or look to
find out what caused the differences in opinion and if/where/which
laws/policies/processes/individuals were incorrect, thereby enabling a
learning process to take place.  Where a consistent decision is reached by
many people independently that would seem to indicate a policy and
procedural fault rather than individual error, so if the error was there how
did that happen and what is required to rectify it?

I do not know if the opinions of the experts changed. If they did not the
disclosures made would appear to be at variance with the notifications and
policies and procedures of the police which would require alteration to
reflect that or clear use of exemptions overriding those opinions and
including sustainable validation of the new stance. (Subjects I thought the
ICO/Tribunal were in place to enable independent determination of when
necessary.)

If what is sometimes described as red tape caused the non-disclosures, the
reversals would seemingly indicated that UK society is moving into a more
authoritarian era creating a change in the demands made of the systems as
they exist. It is necessary for DP to reflect any changing requirements
within the regulative framework as it exists, so some recognition of the
base issues is needed.

If the public sphere is taking a stronger hold within private life, as seems
possible from many of the contemporary reports, then a more authoritarian
way of life is by definition taking shape and there is likely to be an
increasing demand to reflect individual and sudden changes in direction
within DP policies.

Ian W


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Broom, Doreen [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: 09 January 2007 16:01
> To: Ian Welton; [log in to unmask]
> Subject: RE: Disclosure
>
>
> Although if you go back to Ian Huntley - the Chief of Police
> in Humberside/Cambridgeshire said they didn't disclose due to
> the DPA.  I just wish Lord F had intervened then and those
> poor parents minsd could have been put at rest a lot sooner. D
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection
> issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Welton
> Sent: 09 January 2007 14:47
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Disclosure
>
> Common! maybe more accurately uncommon sense.
>
> Was Lord Falconers reported opinion a political, or
> considered legal one? Even interpreting Lord Faulkner's
> considered comments as being made in the context of his
> political role and needs rather than a more considered legal
> role, the affect on DP is significant.
>
> How did the police deal with compliance with their DP
> notifications, which require compliance with their own
> policies and procedures when disclosing personal data, when
> the reported outcome from those policies and procedures was -
> there was insufficient risk to warrant disclosure?
>
> With the police being reported as disclosing the photographs,
> and if the reported opinion was a political one, are the
> police reviewing their policies and procedures to allow for
> the direct exercise of political opinions at variance with
> policy or procedural findings when processing personal data?
> Those policies and procedures are certainly within their
> direct control and facilitating such exceptional intervention
> would simplify many of the difficult management choices by
> facilitating a more authoritarian process.
>
> Are the professionals in all the organisations involved who
> apparently independently and consistently provided advice on
> the level of risk to the public at variance to that perceived
> by Lord Falconer being retrained.  Are the policies and any
> guidance which directed those professionals in their decision
> processes being amended? Is any regulation which determined
> those policies to be reviewed?
>
> Is Lord Falconer legally right or wrong, is he politically
> right or wrong?
>
> Does the reported view mean that the media should be left to
> determine proportionality for purpose, and any other
> considerations should be ignored?
>
> A great deal of the supporting policy guidance for the Human
> Rights Act and supporting DP policy was reported as having
> gone through The Lord Chancellors office for expert legal
> consideration.  Was that opinion wrong; if so is the Lord
> Chancellors office to be retrained in light of subsequent experience?
>
> If the underlying philosophy of the reported statement
> causing the disclosure was a 'might = right' one, which would
> certainly be consistent with many political and legal
> approaches to many privacy matters, does this mean that DP
> will always be in the wrong when unpopular matters are
> considered. If so the implications for DP practitioners might
> be very clear, and the DPA would seem superfluous.
>
> Does the ICO's statement mean that they abide by a potential
> breach of notification provided policies and procedures exist?
>
> Whilst I agree with those who point out that political
> questions need to be aired in political arenas, I dispute
> that the implementation of an apparent decision considered at
> variance to the regulation, policy and procedure by so many
> experts across different organisations and professions is not
> an area which should be of significant legitimate interest to
> DP practitioners in their day to day work of attempting to
> match personal data management to the needs of an
> organisation. If those issues were not of any DP interest red
> tape would rule and organisations would forever be at odds
> with any authoritively perceived social change.
>
>
> Ian
>
>
>
> Date:    Mon, 8 Jan 2007 09:31:22 -0000
> From:    "Broom, Doreen" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Disclosure
>
> In any event, common-sense has prevailed - they have now been
> published!!! D=20
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection
> issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Nigel Roberts
> Sent: 07 January 2007 11:02
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Disclosure
>
> Nick:
>
> The point has been put that it may be unlawful to publish a
> photo of an absconder who had been convicted of a serious
> criminal offence, but was not classified as a danger to the public.
>
> The question seemed to be, is this right under the DPA (as
> interpreted by s.3 of the HRA)? The offenders Art.8 rights
> are clearly engaged.
>
> My point is that such publication /is/ compatible with the
> offenders Convention rights and lawful under the DPA because
> of the nature of the qualification in Art.8 itself. Nothing
> to do with criminology.
>
> Others may wish to discuss social policy. I don't.
>
> Regards
>
>
> Nigel
>
>
> Nick Landau wrote:
> > You have chopped who you are responding to.
> >
> > I am not aware that anyone in this discussion would
> strongly object to
>
> > your statement that:
> >
> > "It is in the wide interests both of public safety and of the=20
> > prevention of crime and disorder, that absconders are caught and=20
> > returned to their place of incarceration, even if the individuals
> > are=20 not an imminent public danger."
> >
> > I would imagine that a criminology or probation discussion
> group might
>
> > be better suited to discussing these aspects which seem to be
> > outside=20 the remit of this group.
> >
> > Nick Landau
> >
>
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