2007 Undergraduate degrees Arts and Social Sciences

Currently waiting for a response from University of Aberdeen, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Gordon C Stalker

Dear University of Aberdeen,
I would be most grateful if you could provide me with a list of graduates for 2007.
The subject I am looking for is history, which I believe would be under Arts and Social Sciences.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon C Stalker

Foi, University of Aberdeen

Dear Mr Stalker,

I refer to your email of 20 May 2021 and, on behalf of the University, I acknowledge receipt and confirm that your request is being dealt with in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. In terms of the Act, a reply will be sent to you within the statutory timescales.

Yours sincerely,

Jody McKenzie
Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
University of Aberdeen

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Foi, University of Aberdeen

Dear Mr Stalker,

Thank you for your FOI request below.

In order to fully consider the disclosure of the personal data you have requested, I require some more information from you. As information which is the personal data of third parties is covered by a non-absolute exemption in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, I do need to consider the reasons for your request so that this can be weighed up against the privacy impact of the graduates you have asked about.

If you could tell me why you are seeking the disclosure of this information and what you intend to do with the information, this will allow me to come to an informed judgement and decide whether the information should be disclosed to you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Jody McKenzie
Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
University of Aberdeen

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Gordon C Stalker

Dear Foi,
Thank you for your reply.
I have a general interest in Arts graduates from that year. I could have been less specific about the year.
I note you have previously released information similar to this e.g. to Mr Sim, who applied on 25/7/2012.
This information is already in the public domain in the columns of the Press and Journal or other newspapers but is not readily obtainable whereas you have nice typed lists produced for graduations.
I myself am a graduate of Aberdeen

Yours sincerely,

Gordon C Stalker B.Sc.

Foi, University of Aberdeen

Thank you for your reply. I will further consider your request and respond to you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Jody McKenzie
Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
University of Aberdeen

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Gordon C Stalker

Dear Foi,
Thank you.
My reading of the Act is "that An applicant does not need to give a reason for wanting the information and all requests for information must be treated equally (except under some circumstances relating to vexatious requests".

Yours sincerely,

Gordon C Stalker

Foi, University of Aberdeen

Dear Mr Stalker

Thanks for your note about the right of access. You are correct that applicants do not have to provide their reasons for requesting information under the Act. Nevertheless, a public authority's decision about whether to disclose information that is third-party personal data (i.e. information that tells the recipient something about other identifiable, living individuals) does have to take into account the reason why an applicant wants the information. This is because a public authority has to balance the applicant's interest in the personal data with the data subjects' right to privacy in order to comply with data protection legislation.

The Commissioner explains how personal data can be disclosed under the Act through this 'legitimate interest gateway' in his briefing available online at https://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/.... Please see paragraphs 59 to 68 on pages 13 to 15 in the detailed guidance. In it, the Commissioner advises, "it is good practice for public authorities to ask the requester why they want the information" (paragraph 61). He goes on say, "Remember that requesters aren't required to explain why they want the information if they don't wish to do so."

I note you have indicated a general interest in Arts graduates in 2007. It is up to you whether you wish to elaborate to help us reach a decision on whether your interest outweighs the interests of the graduates. If you would like to add anything to your request, we'd be pleased to hear from you by 10 June, so that we can respond to you within the statutory timescale. If you would prefer to elaborate without publishing your reply online, please contact us direct at [University of Aberdeen request email].

Yours sincerely,
Iain Gray

University Data Protection Officer
University of Aberdeen

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Gordon C Stalker

Dear Foi,
Thank you for your reply.
It is good to see we are both adhering to good practice.
1)"it is good practice for public authorities to ask the requester why they want the information" (paragraph 61). 2) "Remember that requesters aren't required to explain why they want the information if they don't wish to do so."
I am adhering to good practice point 2) above.
I also point out that it is good practice to provide requested data as soon as reasonably possible and not wait until the very last minute of the last day.

Yours sincerely,

Gordon C Stalker

Foi, University of Aberdeen

Dear Mr Stalker
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST FOI 2021-138
 
I refer to your request for a list of graduates in History from the
University in 2007 and to our subsequent correspondence. Your request has
been considered under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, ‘the
Act’.
 
I am unable to supply the information you have requested. Information
about identifiable individuals is personal data, and disclosure of that
information under the Act is subject to a balancing exercise between the
interest of the requester and the interests of the individuals involved.
We have considered your request, and have concluded that your interest
does not outweigh the privacy interests of the graduates. Publication of
their personal data under the Act would therefore be unlawful.
 
In reaching this decision, we have taken into account the publication of
information about some graduates in the local press at the time of
graduation, and our response to a previous freedom of information request
through this site. We do not consider that either point tips the balancing
test in favour of publication in this case. Only some of the information
you have requested has been published, its publication was of limited
extent and the law now recognises that individuals have an expectation of
privacy that grows with the passage of time. Those factors are not
outweighed by a general interest in that information now being published. 
 
Please accept this message as a notice under section 16 of the Act that
the University does hold the information you have requested, but that it
is exempt from disclosure under section 38(1)(b) and (2A)(a) of the Act,
as disclosure would breach the first principle of the UK General Data
Protection Regulation.
 
Should you be dissatisfied with this response, you have the right to
request a review.  A request for review must be made within forty working
days of the receipt of this reply. It must include your name and address
for correspondence and specify the request for information and the grounds
for dissatisfaction with the decision. Please send your request for review
to [University of Aberdeen request email].
 
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the University’s internal review,
you have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner
within six months of the receipt of the University’s review response.
Details on how to make an appeal to the Commissioner are available at
[1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal. Should you be dissatisfied with the
Commissioner’s decision, you have a right of appeal to the Court of
Session on a point of law.
 
Yours sincerely,
Iain Gray
University Data Protection Officer
University of Aberdeen
 

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Gordon C Stalker

Dear University of Aberdeen,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Aberdeen's handling of my FOI request '2007 Undergraduate degrees Arts and Social Sciences'.

This is a legal requirement by the ICO before they will accept a formal complaint.

The exemption is not valid as the information is already in the public domain but very difficult to obtain especially during a pandemic when access to microfiche facilities is limited.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Yours faithfully,

Gordon C Stalker

Foi, University of Aberdeen

Dear Mr Stalker,

I refer to your email of 11 June requesting an internal review of our original response to your request relating to graduate lists. On behalf of the University, I acknowledge receipt and confirm that your request is being dealt with in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. In terms of the Act, a reply will be sent to you as soon as possible and within the statutory timescales.

Yours sincerely,
Mary Sabiston
Information Compliance Officer
University of Aberdeen

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