“Data Protection”

This has been rattling around in my subconscious for a little while as a nice neat example of a post. I dug out the emails recently for someone as an example and given that I edited it down for them, I thought I’d share it with everyone. I think it’s a nice example of several things:

That freedom of information staff are often undertrained, and this lack of training manifests as a tendency to give out less information (because institutions generally don’t like to give out information); That, in freedom of information terms, it’s often insufficient to ask – you also have to know your rights, and be able to present evidence.

As a bit of context: In 2012 I was gathering data for the Domesday Dataset, which went on to reveal hosts of issues, including device obsolescence, postcode lotteries, and the rising dominance of the iPad.  I do think of it as my greatest academic work (at at some point in 2016 or so I should repeat the study to see what’s changed).

I’d asked Walsall Healthcare Trust for a list of devices they’d purchased between 2006 and 2012. I’d let you look at the resulting correspondence (the bits that have been edited out are things like overly long signatures and quoting previous emails).

0210/11: FoI Response Letter
8 messages
Freedom Of Information (RBK) Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust <foi@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk> 11 January 2012 at 11:20
To: Me
Dear JosephThank you for your Freedom of Information request.  I am pleased to attach our response to your request.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries.

—-snip—-

RESPONSE LETTER.pdf28K
Joseph Reddington <Me> 11 January 2012 at 12:06
To: “Freedom Of Information (RBK) Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust” <foi@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk>
Thank you so much for your quick reply – very efficient :)Just a quick query – is it possible to be a bit more exact on the numbers? 1-5 is a bit vague when some of these devices are £10,000 a pop…

 

The other minor thing is that I meant to ask for the results broken down by year – apologies for not including this at first – would it be possible to do this? I’m happy to put in another FOI request if necessary…

 

Best

 

Joe

—-snip—-

Freedom Of Information (RBK) Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust <foi@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk> 11 January 2012 at 15:48
To: Joseph Reddington <Me>
Dear JosephUnfortunately, due to Data Protection we are only allowed to specify between 1-5.  In terms of the data to be provided by year please would it be possible to put in as another FOI request.

Kindest Regards

 —-snip—-

Joseph Reddington <Me> 11 January 2012 at 16:11
To: “Freedom Of Information (RBK) Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust” <foi@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk>
Could you tell me what aspect of Data Protection is involved here? In particular why it affects the data supplied by your trust and not the 56 other trusts who have so far responded with exact data to the same question (for reference I’ve listed their responses below)?(Also please consider this the formal request for breakdown by years – I’m entirely happy for the 20 day cycle to start from today for this additional request)

 

Cheers,

 

Joe

 

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_11#incoming-209079

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_16#incoming-209294

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_19

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_9#incoming-208909

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_15#incoming-209176

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_21#incoming-209211

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_4

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/augmentative_and_alternative_com_4

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_28/

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_30

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_4/new

Classicly done

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_10/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_14/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_16/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_18/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_28/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_33/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_34/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_37/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_41/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_48/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_50/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_52/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_54/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_56/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_57/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_59/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_60/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_62/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_64/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_67/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_68/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b_2#outgoing-155181

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_73/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_76/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_77/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_82/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_15/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_85/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_91/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_92/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_93/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/communication_devices_supplied_b#followup

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_95/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_96/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_98/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_99/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_103/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_104/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_105/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_106/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_111/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_112/new

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_augmentative_and_al_89/new

[Quoted text hidden]

Freedom Of Information (RBK) Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust <foi@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk> 12 January 2012 at 11:01
To: Me
Dear JosephPlease find attached a list of the exact number of devices purchased as requested. 

Kindest Regards

—-snip—

 

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