Aggregate IQ

P. John made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner's Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I watched with concern and amazement the exchange on 24 April between Frank Bayliss (Member of the Canandian Parliament) and executives from the company Analytica IQ.

During that exchange, the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham allegedly intervened in the hearing to refute claims made by AIQ that they had answered all of her questions. The executives of AIQ repeated their assertion that they had done so.

Please could you;-
1) Confirm or deny that Elizabeth Denham did send a text (or email?) to Frank Bayliss (or other committee members) during the course of that hearing
2) Disclose to me the SMS/email correspondence sent/received by Ms Denham to the Canadian Parliament committee members during the course of that hearing
3) Disclose to me the correspondence sent to/received from AIQ in the last 3 months.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner's Office

14 May 2018

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0741389

 

Dear Mr John

Information request
 
I write in response to your email of 26 April 2018 in which you submitted
a request for information to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Your request has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
 
Your request
 
“Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,
I watched with concern and amazement the exchange on 24 April between
Frank Bayliss (Member of the Canandian Parliament) and executives from the
company Analytica IQ.
 
During that exchange, the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham
allegedly intervened in the hearing to refute claims made by AIQ that they
had answered all of her questions. The executives of AIQ repeated their
assertion that they had done so.
 
Please could you;-
1) Confirm or deny that Elizabeth Denham did send a text (or email?) to
Frank Bayliss (or other committee members) during the course of that
hearing
 
2) Disclose to me the SMS/email correspondence sent/received by Ms Denham
to the Canadian Parliament committee members during the course of that
hearing
 
3) Disclose to me the correspondence sent to/received from AIQ in the last
3 months.”
 
You have made reference to ‘Analytica IQ’ in your request. We understand
you are actually referring to ‘Aggregate IQ’, however if this is incorrect
please let us know.
 
Our response
 
In response to part one of your request I can confirm that there were no
communications between the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, and
Frank Bayliss (or other members of the committee) during the Canadian
parliamentary committee hearing with Aggregate IQ on 24 April 2018.
Therefore, we do not hold information in relation to part two of your
request.
 
To provide some additional context and to help clarify matters, I have
viewed the relevant parts of the Canadian parliamentary committee hearing.
The hearing is available to view via the Canadian parliament website here:
[1]http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/XRender/en/View...
It is the first video on this page – ‘Meeting No. 101 ETHI - Standing
Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics’.
 
It appears your request relates to the statement by Frank Bayliss at
approximately 10.24 of this hearing which refers to a communication
received by his colleague relating to the Information Commissioner’s
comments on Aggregate IQ. However, the relevant communication referred to
would seem to be a communication from Damian Collins MP that was received
by one of the Canadian committee members, Mr Erskine Smith. This can be
seen at approximately 10.13 of the footage linked above.
 
I hope this helps to clarify our response to these parts of your request.
 
In relation to part three of your request in which you requested “the
correspondence sent to/received from AIQ in the last 3 months”, I can
confirm we hold information that falls in the scope of your request.
 
However, we are unable to disclose any of this information as it is exempt
under section 31(1)(g) of the FOIA. This exemption applies when disclosure
would or would be likely to prejudice our ability to carry out our
regulatory function.
 
The exemption at section 31(1)(g) of the FOIA refers to circumstances
where the disclosure of information “would, or would be likely to,
prejudice – … the exercise by any public authority of its functions for
any of the purposes specified in subsection (2).” 
 
In this case the relevant purposes contained in subsection 31(2) are
31(2)(a) and (c) which state;
 
“(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply
with the law”… and
“(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise,”    
 
Clearly, these purposes apply when the Information Commissioner is
considering whether or not organisations are complying with the Data
Protection Act 1998 (the DPA). We consider that disclosure of the
requested information, particularly while our investigation into the use
of data analytics for political purposes is ongoing, would create a real
risk of distracting from and causing interference with the investigative
process, resulting in prejudice to the functions of the ICO at this stage.
 
This exemption is not absolute. When considering whether to apply it in
response to a request for information, there is a ‘public interest test’.
That is, we must consider whether the public interest favours withholding
or disclosing the information. 
In this case the public interest factors in favour of disclosing the
information are as follows – 
 

* Increased transparency in the way in which we carry out our
investigations.
* The progress we have made in this particular investigation, what we
have found and who we have been in contact with.
* The significant public interest in understanding how data analytics
are being used and the impact on individuals 
* The heightened public interest in the outcome of this investigation,
particularly given the number of people it potentially affects and the
high profile nature of the issues.   
 

The public interest factors in maintaining the exemption are as follows - 
 
 

* We consider that the disclosure of this information would be likely to
compromise our ability to investigate and therefore affect the
discharge of our regulatory function in vital areas, including our
ability to influence the behaviour of data controllers and to take
formal action. 
* There is a public interest in maintaining the ICO’s ability to
conduct investigations as it sees fit without undue external influence
and with the ability to make decisions without a high degree of
scrutiny which might affect our decision making or divert our
resources.
* The very significant public interest in this particular investigation
gathering the information it needs to and reaching the right outcome.
We are conducting this investigation exactly because we recognise the
need to probe into these activities and we want to be able understand
the full picture and reach the right conclusion.
* Routine disclosure piecemeal during this and/or other investigations
would be likely to result in caution from involved organisations we
require to further any investigation and consequently prejudice our
ability to deliver our regulatory objectives. There is a strong public
interest in the ICO being an effective and efficient regulator.
* We have explained in broad terms the work that we are doing in this
area and the fact that we are conducting this investigation. We are
likely to make further public statements during the life of the
investigation and this goes some way to address the public interest in
transparency about our work.

Having considered the arguments both for and against disclosure we do not
find that there is sufficient weight in the arguments that favour
disclosure. We consider that the public interest in our ability to carry
out this investigation unhindered outweighs the public interest in
openness about exactly what has happened so far. We recognise that some of
the risk of prejudice and the balance of the public interest might change
once the investigation has completed.

We have made a number of public statements regarding our ongoing
investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes and
these can be found on our website via the following link:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...
 
This concludes our response to your request. I hope the information
provided is helpful.
 
Review Procedure

If you are not satisfied that your request for information has been dealt
with correctly, please write to the Information Access Team at the address
below, reply directly to this email (with the reference number contained
within the square brackets left intact), or email us at
[3][ICO request email], quoting the reference number
IRQ0741389.

Your request for a review should be submitted to us within 40 working days
of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request received after this
time will only be considered at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Ultimately if you are not satisfied that your request for information has
been dealt with correctly you have a further right of appeal to this
office in our capacity as the statutory complaint handler under the
relevant legislation.  To make such an application, please write to our
Customer Contact Team at the address below, or visit the ‘Report a
Concern’ section of our website.
 
A copy of our review procedure is available here
[4]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
 
Yours sincerely
 
Ian Goddard
Senior Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 4146823  F. 01625 524510  [5]ico.org.uk  [6]twitter.com/iconews
For information about what we do with personal data see our [7]privacy
notice
Please consider the environment before printing this email
 

References

Visible links
1. http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/XRender/en/View...
2. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...
3. mailto:[ICO request email]
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
5. http://ico.org.uk/
6. https://twitter.com/iconews
7. https://ico.org.uk/global/privacy-notice/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

thank you for your response to my request "Aggregate IQ". You are quite correct; Analytica IQ is indeed a typo.

I am grateful for your efforts to clarify the actions of the Information Commissioner, but I would be grateful if you would conduct an Internal Review.

At 10:24:25 of the video clip you cite... Mr Baylis says this; "I am going to follow up on the point that my colleague just raised, here, that he received a text just now refuting what you said... Specifically the UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham says; AIQ refused to answer her specific questions relating to data usage during the referendum campaign, to the point that the UK is considering taking further legal action to secure the information she needs. This is real time, just happened - based on what you said. Who is not telling us the truth? You or her? Straight question now. Who is not telling us the truth? You just led us to believe that you got two letters and you answered them fully. She is saying that is not the case to the point that they are looking at taking legal action".

Later he says "Explain to me how we got this information real-time then?" and quotes from the received text using the words "She says..." and "Is she not telling the truth?" refering directly to Ms Denham.

It seems clear from his words he is quoting directly from a real-time intervention made by Ms Denham (on on behalf of Ms Denham) based on to the (laughable) denials of AIQ executives in the course of the meeting.

I would like a copy of that intervention, and any other correspondence with the members of that committee please.

Please could you;-
1) Confirm or deny that Elizabeth Denham did send a text (or email?) to Frank Bayliss (or other committee members) during the course of that hearing

2) Disclose to me the SMS/email correspondence sent/received by Ms Denham to the Canadian Parliament committee members during the course of that hearing

Yours faithfully,

P. John

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I am happy to withdraw this request, on reflection I agree.. I accept it is likely Mr Bayliss is quoting from the message sent to Mr. Eskine-Smith by Damian Collins MP, quoting a discussion Mr Collins had with Elizabeth Denham.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews