Recording DWP interaction by the public

Mae'r cais yn aros am eglurhad. Os Frank Zola ydych chi, os gwelwch yn dda, mewngofnodi i anfon neges ddilynol.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

It is common for the DWP to use covert and overt CCTV and audio recording of interviews, telephone conversations etc and does not appear to have any obligation to inform anyone when such recording is taking place.

Can you confirm that members of the public are also free to covertly record their interactions with the DWP or it's contractors and there are no legal duties for them to inform anyone of the recordings when they are only intended to be for personal and private domestic use?

Yours faithfully,
Frank Zola

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References

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DWP LS FOI, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

4 Atodiad

Dear Mr Zola

Please find attached FOI response  to your recent request .

<<FOI 3687 Response Zola .pdf>> <<Call Recording.pdf>> <<Recordings by
claimants.pdf>> <<Guidance on Restricted Use of Electronic Media in
Jobcentres .pdf>>

Regards

Central FOI Team

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Gadawodd Jim Otram anodiad ()

That's an informative result, FZ. Thanks.

So the DWP have two different standards as regards recordings by claimants. One for staff the DWP engages directly, and another for staff of the French poodle variety.

In the first case, it is recognised that a claimant is entitled to insist on a recording in most circumstances, even where no prior notice has been given; and in some circumstances a recording may in any event be required by the claimant as a reasonable adjustment under the equality Act; and there are no dual-copy recording requirements.

With French poodles, none of the foregoing applies.

As regards the DWP's hysterical and erroneous spouting of purported law about publication of recordings, the response also serves to show that from, at best, a mixture of ignorance and duplicity, the department continues to mislead the public in this area. All the better argument for the public interest in favour of disclosure to prevail as regards the actual legal advice the DWP has received in this area (as e.g. pursued by John Slater, at this site).

Nice one.

Gadawodd John Slater anodiad ()

It appears that the DWP continue to repeat the same misinformation over and over again. Publishing a recording of your own ESA assessment is covered by the private and domestic exemption of the Data Protection Act. The test to include in any letter (in the recordings by claimants doc) is clearly an attempt to bully and scare people. The liberal use of ‘may’ proves that the DWP has no basis in law to stop people recording or publishing online. I can only talk for myself but I would happily let them report me to the ICO.

Gadawodd S. Martin anodiad ()

John:

In addition, its fine to listen to everyone elses business in their open plan offices, but not openly record them, strange; so you can record them in writing though.

Under Common Law: all law must be equally applied!!! so they can record you with their CCTV, but you can't record them, strange how they openly break the law. Crucially, they employ civillian staff to monitor these cameras who don't have to conform to the DWP employees standards or disciplinary procedures.

Take a look at the DWP, its only a policy which is a corporate policy which has no legal or lawful significance so they can't stop you filming under current law.

Gadawodd jimmy3 anodiad ()

This letter may be of use. Feel free to print it out and show anyone who tries to prevent you recording evidence in public places:

http://freepdfhosting.com/45596bb0b6.pdf

Gadawodd Meme anodiad ()

As both the data controller and the data subject, you give yourself permission to publish your own data online. The DWP are attempting to appear authoritative in respect to data privacy in an area of law in which they have absolutely no authority to prohibit.
That officious nonsense about informing the ICO only serves to waste that organisation's time.

Gadawodd Frank Zola anodiad ()

FOI request
"Can you confirm that members of the public are also free to covertly record their interactions with the DWP or it's contractors"
23 September 2012
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

GDPR: Article 2
Material scope
2. This Regulation does not apply to the processing of personal data:
(c) by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity;
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2016/6...

Data Protection Act 2018
"processing of personal data by an individual in the course of a purely personal or household activity"
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201...

Publishing covertly recorded "interactions with the DWP or it's contractors", appears to be well beyond "a purely personal or household activity"

Anyone can contact the ICO https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ to clarify whether it's possible for an individual to publish covert (audio & visual) recordings that included themselves, on the basis doing so would be "a purely personal or household activity", when all those included in such recordings have not given prior consent to such publication.

A summary of the ICO's opinion could be posted here as an annotation.

Gadawodd Meme anodiad ()

Taking Frank Zola's suggestion I spoke to the I.C.O via live chat 'to clarify whether it's possible for an individual to publish covert (audio & visual) recordings that included themselves, on the basis doing so would be "a purely personal or household activity", when all those included in such recordings have not given prior consent to such publication.'
They stated:
'Article 2(c) of the UK GDPR states that its provisions do not apply to the processing of personal data by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity. I would have thought it is unlikely that the UK GDPR would apply to the circumstances you're describing. The UK GDPR only applies to data processing by 'data controllers' In certain circumstances, such as individuals using CCTV to record outside the confines of their own property, individuals can become data controllers. However, it seems unlikely that this would apply to someone uploading a record of a conversation they've had to the internet. We can't provide concrete assessments over live chat. However, as stated above this is unlikely to be something that would provide the ICO with any immediate cause for concern.'

Gadawodd Frank Zola anodiad ()

@Meme

Thanks for ICO notes

Here's a reported case:

'Why I secretly taped my disability assessment'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41581060
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbq0bf2p...

Gadawodd Chris Barker anodiad ()

Hi Frank. Thanks for all the great work.
A little confused on this one. Can I record the restart scheme providers for use as transcripted evidence at a sanction tribunal? There is only me and my work adviser and s/ he's manager in the office?

Gadawodd Frank Zola anodiad ()

There is no legal requirement, for an individual, to inform anyone they would be/are covertly recording Restart interactions, when doing so is for own personal and domestic reasons. Alternatively Restart providers could be asked for permission to record.

Creating a transcript of these recordings could be used in a court or tribunal, as could the actual recordings, but a court may have discretion not to accept such and the DWP could challenge inclusion. The court would have to satisfy itself of the veracity and authenticity of any recording or transcript.

It might be worth doing an FOI with likes of HM Courts & Tribunals Service and do research online, like:

'using recordings in a tribunal'
https://www.startpage.com/do/dsearch?que...

As these annotations are not strictly help and support for an FOI, so WDTK might remove them.

In terms of benefit sanctions there would also be the chance to request mandatory reconsideration (MR) (internal review of any adverse sanction decision by DWP) and sanction referrals under Restart have to go through a claimant's Jobcentre 'Work Coach' for them to consider referring to a Decision Maker. It might also be worth using any recording or transcript during the MR process. But would advise seeking advice and guidance when the possibility of a Restart sanction may be present: https://advicelocal.uk/ especially if the Restart provider has 'raised a compliance doubt' https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Restart provider guidance, including sanction related sections, on
Chapter 8: Mandating participants to undertake activity
Chapter 9: Raising a compliance doubt
Chapter 10: Participant compliance
More:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...