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On Wed, 27 May 2009, Bradshaw, Phillip wrote:

> It is nothing to do with the biometric data itself.
> 
> Scenario:
> 
> There are 5 people in my team and they register to use the device. Fred
> leaves for a better job (debatable but I will concede for the sake of
> argument !). His profile is removed. We now have a device with 4
> registered users plus biometric data of AN Other. My HR records show
> Fred is the only person to have left the team whilst device in use.
> Therefore the AN Other data is identifiable as being Fred's from other
> information in my possession. Therefore it is personal data whilst in
> our hands.

OK, and indeed Collie does appear to be quite far-reaching in that case 
then.

You already mentioned that the profile data isn't actually deleted, just 
made inaccessible.  That being the case, it could be considered not 
'held', so the point is moot.  However, if it is accessible, but by 
extra-ordinary means, you're into the sort of territory that you get into 
when you start talking about recovering 'deleted' data from systems at a 
very low level.  Is there not terminology in one or other act or guidance 
stating that if 'specialists' are required, then it is essentially data 
'not held'?

Maybe records shouldn't be reflecting who previously had access to the 
device after they have "left", or it should not be an assumption that 
being a member of a particular team equates to having access to a 
particular device.  In some cases, this may be a reasonable assumption.  
In others, it may not.

Jethro.


> 
> The fact that it would not be personal data in anyone else's hands
> because they could never identify Fred is irrelevant - the point made
> quite clearly in Collie ... 
> 
> "If it was impossible for the recipient of the ... data to identify
> those individuals, the information would not constitute "personal data"
> in his hands. But we are concerned in this case with its status while it
> is still in the hands of the data controller, as the question is whether
> it is or is not exempt from the duty of disclosure that FOISA says must
> be observed by him." Lord Hope at Para 26.
> 
> The effect of Collie is quite far reaching and indeed startling in some
> respects. If for example my Council has 13 employees who are Hindu, and
> we know who they are, we could not publish that fact, or supply it under
> FOIA without the express consent of all, as it is sensitive personal
> data in our hands ...  unless there is some statutory gateway to enable
> us to publish ethnicity etc. data (which I have not looked into) when we
> could rely on Schedule 3 Condition 2.
> 
>  
> 
> 
> 
> Phil Bradshaw
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection issues
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jethro R Binks
> Sent: 27 May 2009 16:19
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [data-protection] Biometric Data on Flash Drive
> 
> On Wed, 27 May 2009, Bradshaw, Phillip wrote:
> 
> > 1. It is data
> > 2. It relates to a living individual (usually) 3. The individual it 
> > relates to can be identified from other information which is in the 
> > possession of the data controller
> 
> I don't disagree with the first two.
> 
> But how does a mathematical summary of the fingerprint identify anyone?
> 
> It doesn't.  As for obtaining other information, the only way you are
> going to be able to map that mathematical summary to a living person
> (ie, identify them from the data you have on the flash device) is by
> having the living person's fingerprints and generating their
> mathematical summary and comparing them - but then you have to know who
> the person is in the first place to get the fingerprints, so why would
> you be bothering?
> 
> I suppose we don't know enough about the mathematical algorithm to know
> how likely a collision is (ie, the chance that the mathematical summary
> will match more than one fingerprint).
> 
> Jethro.
> 
> .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
> .
> Jethro R Binks
> Computing Officer, IT Services, University Of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
> 
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.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Jethro R Binks
Computing Officer, IT Services, University Of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

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