GDPR implementation: minor changes and big questions

May 1st, 2018 by Robin Hopkins

With the GDPR taking effect later this month, the Council of the EU has done its last round of proof-reading and made some changes to the final GDPR text. Most of those will be inconsequential for the majority of controllers and processors. Meanwhile, on this side of the Channel, a much bigger question remains unanswered: when exactly will we get our Data Protection Act 2018? Read more »


Throttling Environmental Information

April 27th, 2018 by Christopher Knight

As is so often the way in information rights, the Upper Tribunal reaches a perfectly sensible decision and gives practical guidance which others can actually apply, only for the Court of Appeal to insist on saying mostly the same thing but less clearly and less helpfully. As a result, the Upper Tribunal then has to reconsider the area and steer the law back to a productive course. Read more »


Open Up! Access to Upper Tribunal Files

April 25th, 2018 by Christopher Knight

The Upper Tribunal has its own rules. It is not governed by the CPR. Inevitably, this leaves some gaps on occasion. One of those which occasionally puzzles people interested in the system is that there is no equivalent to CPR rule 5.4C, which allows non-parties the right to ask to see the court file. So can a non-party get access to an Upper Tribunal file, whether or not the material has been referred to in an open hearing? Read more »


Hail to the (New GRC) Chief

April 24th, 2018 by Christopher Knight

After something of a delay following the elevation of the previous incumbent to the High Court (now Mr Justice Peter Lane), the Senior President of Tribunals has now announced the next Chamber President of the General Regulatory Chamber. It is Judge Alison McKenna, who has been the Principal Judge of the GRC for a couple of years now. Judge McKenna will be familiar to users of the Tribunal, and she has decided many FOIA appeals. Panopticon welcomes her to the Presidency and the expanded information rights domain she will doubtless receive when the Data Protection Bill is finally enacted.

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What’s in a Junior Civil Servant’s Name? Personal Data Stoopid

April 23rd, 2018 by Christopher Knight

If there is one thing everyone using FOIA is used to, it is the idea that the personal data (names, contact details) of ‘junior civil servants’ will be redacted out of the disclosed information, applying the section 40(2) personal data exemption. Unless there is a good reason not to. But what if everyone is wrong? Is redacting junior civil servants just a personal data shibboleth? Read more »


FOIA, GDPR and Condition 6 of Schedule 2

April 19th, 2018 by Christopher Knight

In amongst the headline-grabbing right to be forgotten judgments, leading to very long posts, Panopticon gets regular queries from people working in public authorities concerned about how the GDPR is going to affect their ability to use the section 40 personal data exemption in FOIA. A short post on the answer is warranted. Read more »