----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brenda Scourfield" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 11:17 AM
Subject: [data-protection] Signatures

Are signatures personal data ? If we provide copies of letters under FOI
or DP, should the signature of the officer or person be blanked out ?

One of our officers is concerned that his signature could be copied and
used fraudulently.

Nick's reply:

One question would be is the signature already in the public domain - in 
which case, his concern is understandable but an FoI question would not 
elicit any more information than is otherwise available. (for instance do 
documents with his signature go to Planning Committee etc?)

If you really wanted a copy of a council officer's signature then you write 
to them and presumably the response will have their signature.

One could presumably argue that if a particular officer had a problem with 
this then it doesn't seem to me blanking out their signature would remove 
any information - after all it would have their name in print.

I would have thought that this was the nature of being a public officer ie 
documents with your imprint on get published - if you don't want that you 
should be working in the public sector.

But equally any postman might say that they don't want to give their 
signature for the same reason.

Nick Landau 

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