Private requests #
Pro users can set a privacy period on a request to delay publication while you work on your story or investigation.
When a request is private we guarantee that it will only be visible on WhatDoTheyKnow for the period you select. WhatDoTheyKnow Pro administrators will also be able to view your request, but will only do so in the event that they need to fix a problem with it (e.g. failed delivery to the authority). They will not reveal the contents of your request or any response you get to anyone else. The authority may still publish it in a disclosure log as usual.
How long can I keep requests private? #
Privacy periods can be set for 3, 6 and 12 month periods.
You will be automatically notified a week before the privacy period expires, and on the date of expiry.
Once the privacy period ends, your request and following correspondence, including your name, will be displayed publicly on this website.
I need more time. Can I extend a privacy period? #
Privacy periods can be extended, but only in the week before the expiry date.
There is no limit to the number of times a privacy period may be extended, but each extension requires manual confirmation.
How do I publish a request? #
Requests can be published at any time.
Can I make private batch requests? #
Privacy periods can also be set on batch requests, and their operation follows the same principles as individual requests. Changes to a privacy period on one request belonging to a batch are mirrored to all requests in the batch.
Batch makes it easy to send and manage requests to multiple authorities.
How do I make a batch request? #
Batch allows you to select a list of authorities and write a template request. The request gets sent individually to each authority like a mail merge.
How do I manage a batch request? #
Progress of a batch can be managed with a convenient progress meter to see how close you are to getting responses from all authorities and making it easy to choose which action to take next.
How do I manage batch privacy periods? #
Batches can be made private, and privacy periods easily managed across the batch.
How many authorities can I add to a batch? #
The maximum number of authorities that can be added to a batch is 500.
How many batch requests can I make? #
We recommend sending a pilot batch to a sample of authorities to test the request. Once you know the authorities hold the type of data that you’re asking for you can then request from the remaining authorities.
There’s no limit to the number of batches that can be sent, but Pro users are required to abide by our guidelines about writing responsible requests.
We keep these pages under review, and may make changes from time to time to ensure that they remain up-to-date and accurate. You can find a synopsis of changes we’ve made at our GitHub repository but if you have any questions, please do contact us.