FoI requests about charity fines

Madeline Bowles 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.

The request was successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

In addition to the FoI requests I have made in respect of the 2016 and 2017 compliance action taken by yourselves in respect of charity fundrasing, I understand you have received other Freedom of Information requests about the charity fines, the actions which led up to these, and the actions you took in that respect.

Please detail the requests you have received other than those which have been made via this website. I am not asking you to tell me the answers you gave. I realise you will need to remove any personal data in respect of the identity of the requester of that information.

Yours faithfully,

Madeline Bowles

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

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Information Commissioner's Office

17 November 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0709453

 

Dear Ms Bowles

Request for Information
 
Thank you for your correspondence dated 6 November 2017, in which you have
asked:

" In addition to the FoI requests I have made in respect of the 2016 and
2017 compliance action taken by yourselves in respect of charity
fundrasing, I understand you have received other Freedom of Information
requests about the charity fines, the actions which led up to these, and
the actions you took in that respect. Please detail the requests you have
received other than those which have been made via this website. I am not
asking you to tell me the answers you gave. I realise you will need to
remove any personal data in respect of the identity of the requester of
that information. "
 
We have considered your request in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. This entitles you to information held by
a public authority
 
Response
 
I should start by explaining that for our own purposes we do not need to
keep a definitive list of requests we have received in relation to a
particular subject. We do not, therefore, hold a list of relevant
requests.
 
I have therefore performed searches of our electronic case management
systems using a list of relevant keywords and consulted with my colleagues
who worked on these requests.
 
Please find below a list of the requests I have identified which we have
received and consider to be in relation to the CMPs issued to charities in
2016. In line with your request, I have not included any that were made
over the WhatDoTheyKnow website. 
 
IRQ0637196
 
8 July 2016
 
Can you please share with me:
 
1)  Any correspondence between the Institute of Fundraising and ICO
between December 2015 and the present day;
 
2) Any correspondence between the new Fundraising Regulator (including its
chair, Lord Grade) and the ICO between November 2015 and the present day; 
 
3) Any correspondence with the charities British Red Cross or Age UK
relating to your investigation into their fundraising practices and the
voluntary undertakings they signed with you earlier this year.
 
IRQ0642344
 
17 August 2016
 
Please would you provide copies of the ICO correspondence recently
disclosed to Third Sector, including (but not limited to):
 
 

 1. The emails described in the article ‘[1]Charities won't have to screen
lists against FPS’ by Susannah Birkwood, 15 August 2016, including:

 1. The email of 20 May 2016 from Richard Marbrow, senior policy
officer at the ICO, to Stephen Dunmore and Gerald Oppenheim of
the Fundraising Regulator.  The email concerns the Fundraising
Preference Service. 
 2. Mr Marbrow’s email of 4 July 2016, which refers to the ICO’s
decision to allow charities to include requests for consent in
the thank-you texts they send to donors.

 2. The emails described in the article ‘[2]Non-compliant fundraising
practice still common, says [3]ICO’ by Susannah Birkwood, 11 August
2016, including:

 1. Mr Marbrow’s email to the Institute of Fundraising of 12 May
2016, in which he refers to "a divergence between a number of
standard fundraising practices and what the ICO would regard as
compliant practice."
 2. Mr Marbrow’s email to the Institute of Fundraising of 25 May 2016
in which he (according to the article) suggests charities are
still falling significantly short in meeting the consent
requirements of the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and
Electronic Communication Regulations.
 3. The email to Mr Marbrow from the Institute of Fundraising to
which Mr Marbrow was responding.

 3. A letter to the Red Cross from Natasha Longson, the ICO’s enforcement
manager, dated 27 October 2015, described in the article ‘[4]ICO
[5]inquiry uncovered major data protection failings at Red Cross’ by
Susannah Birkwood, 15 August 2016.

 
IRQ0642724
 
18 August 2016
 
Any correspondence between the ICO and the following charities: Oxfam,
NSPCC Macmillan Cancer Support, RSPCA and PDSA between July 2015 and the
present day.
 
IRQ0658825
 
7 December 2016
 
I would like to understand more information about how the ICO came to
their conclusion regarding the ruling published yesterday against the
RSPCA & BHF especially around the ‘Wealth Screening’ of donor data.
 
I would be interested in getting hold of minutes of meetings where the ICO
came to this decision. 
 
What interests me about this ruling is the fact that it looks specifically
at the charity sector and not at companies in the corporate sector. As I
said I am therefore looking for any information that will help me to
understand why the charity sector was the only sector to be investigated
as part of this ruling.
 
IRQ0659902
 
14 December 2016
 
Almost three months have passed since you rejected my FOI request asking
for correspondence between the ICO and the various charities it has been
investigating over the past 18 months.
 
Since then, investigations into at least two of these charities (RSPCA and
BHF) have concluded. 
 
I would therefore like to reiterate my original request, made to you on 22
August of, any correspondence between the ICO and the following charities:
Oxfam, NSPCC Macmillan Cancer Support, RSPCA and PDSA between July 2015
and the present day, assuming that all these inquiries have by now
concluded.
 
Please could you also provide me with correspondence between the ICO and
the British Heart Foundation between July 2015 and the present day.
 
IRQ0667664
 
13 February 2017
 
We are making a request for information in relation to the recent findings
made by the Information Commissioner/Information Commissioner's Office
('lCO') in respect of certain charities' fundraising practices'
 
ln particular, we refer to comments made in the Monetary Penalty Notices
of 9 December 2016 ('MPNs') issued by the ICO in respect of two charities,
British Heart Foundation and the RSPCA ('Charities').
 
Specifically, we would like to know if the lCO in making its findings and
in deciding to issue the MPNs against the Charities:
 
 

 1. obtained any empirical evidence as to whether individual data subjects
were likely to have reasonably known (or not) about the possibility of
their personal data being used by those Charities for wealth
screening, profiling or data-matching/appending;
 2. acquired any independent research (such as a survey) to provide it
with specific insight as to the reasonable expectations of data
subjects in relation to the potential use that may be made of their
personal data by the Charities. lf survey evidence was used, please
could you provide details of the questions or other material given to
data subjects to part of this insight exercise and the results of such
surveys/research (if available);
 3. obtained any information from individual data subjects as to the
potential impact on them of receiving unsolicited marketing or finding
out that personal data about them had been subject to data matching or
teleappending or shared by the Charities in question (for example,
through individual enquires or complaints being made direct); and
 4. relied on any other internal or external information, not covered by
the above, in reaching its conclusion that the activities of the
Charites as referred to in the MPNs had caused substantial damage or
distress.’

IRQ0669456
 
23 February 2017
 
In the context of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
consideration of the fundraising practices of charities, please would you
provide the information which forms the evidence base for the Information
Commissioner’s view that individuals are highly unlikely to expect to be
the subject of wealth screening (which the ICO describes as ‘analysing
personal information to assess donors’ financial viability’).  Evidence of
the Commissioner’s view in this regard can be found at page 8 of the ICO’s
fundraising and regulatory compliance conference paper dated 21 February
2017:
 
‘Wealth screening is the kind of processing that individuals are highly
unlikely to expect as a result of their charitable giving. They would not
reasonably expect that such a gift would lead the charity to profile their
wealth to see whether they’d increase their donations or leave a legacy
donation’
 
By way of example, the information requested might include:
 
 

* emails or other correspondence detailing conversations that the
Commissioner of ICO staff have had with individuals and audiences in
public forums suggesting that they would not expect to be subject to
wealth screening;
* complaints received about wealth screening on the basis it was not in
the complainants reasonable expectations;
* Representations from organisations to this effect. 

 
These examples draw on the Information Commissioner’s comments at the
fundraising and regulatory compliance conference on 21 February 2017, as
reported in [6]Civil Society:

‘[Ms Denham said] ‘in terms of wealth screening what we’re saying is, it’s
invisible to individuals and in order for it to be lawful you need to
inform individuals as to how you’re using their personal information. 
It’s not something we plucked out of the air, so much as we understood in
talking to individuals that it wasn’t reasonably expected’. 

She also said that the ICO had received complaints regarding wealth
screening and had had various ‘responses’ from audiences when it had
discussed the topic in public forums since 2015. 

‘We’ve had complaints to the ICO and responses from individuals when we’ve
discussed wealth screening. Have I done a focus group with fundraising
supporters? No, I haven’t. But we have heard this in spades from many
organisations and individuals, as well as from complainants.’

Please note that these are given by way of example only, although this
request does cover the information referred to by Ms Denham, and we are
interested in any information fitting the terms of this request.  However,
if there is any lack of clarity in the request or you think it may exceed
the cost limit, we would wish to refine the terms of the request.

IRQ0676228

6 April 2017

Time for the #ICO to release more information on this. Did cancer
charities use #NHS information for their cause? News suggests they did.

Have charities found to be sharing [7]#data with other charities, also
been sharing with businesses that they are in partnership with?

Did [8]#charities found to be "income profiling" involve receiving
[9]#data from their [10]#corporate partners?

How much was paid to 3rd party companies to gather "social circle of
friends" information? [11]#ICO [12]#charity

IRQ0708010
 
27 October 2017
 
Under protection of the FOIA please provide me with the following
iformation. (sic)
 
1.The 13 Charity Names which you have recently  fined for DATA breaches
2.The Amount fined.
 
Review Procedure

If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Access Team at the address below or
e-mail [13][ICO request email].
 
Your request for internal 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.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review 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 legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team at the address given or visit our website if
you wish to make a complaint under either the Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website
[14]here.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Ashley Duffy
Information Access Service Manager
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
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