House Price Data and the ICO

Madeline Bowles made this Freedom of Information request to Land Registry

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 Land Registry,

In its recent fines on the RSPCA and the British Heart Foundation the Information Commissioner included the practice of "wealth screening" in its enforcement action. This process uses publicly available data, including house price data from the Land Registry, to assess the wealth of an individual who has given or who might give to a charity. It is also a practice used by other organisations, e.g. financial services, luxury goods sellers etc. wanting to do business with those of greater than average means.

The Information Commissioner has recently argued that "The fact that personal information is publicly available doesn’t make it ‘fair game’. And it doesn’t make further use of that personal information for any purpose fair." https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d... At its conference on 21 Feb 2017 the ICO argued that where a data subject had no choice about whether the data was in the public domain or not its reuse without the individual's explicit consent under any circumstances for any purpose other than the original one was unfair and hence illegal.

While recognising that the Land Registry data refers to a property not an individual, if any organisation knows someone's address it is not hard to join these two things up.

This Freedom of Information request therefore asks for details of any discussions, documents, policy notes, guidance received from ICO or lawyers or other qualified bodies on the implications or subsequent impact of making data held by the Land Registry available to the public via the open data project, especially in respect of the anticipated reuse of that data for any purpose other than the registration of properties. I am aware you carried out one or more Privacy Impact Assessments but I could not find these on your website.

Thank you very much.

Yours faithfully

Madeline Bowles

Petty, Roger, Land Registry

Dear Madeline Bowles

 

Thank you for your email of 28 March 2017 requesting details of any
discussions, documents, policy notes, guidance received from ICO or
lawyers or other qualified bodies on the implications or subsequent impact
of making data held by the Land Registry available to the public via the
open data project.

 

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we will proceed to deal with your request.

If you have any queries about this letter, please do not hesitate to
contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Roger Petty
Corporate Information Officer

 

Head Office, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon CR0 2AQ
DD: 0300 006 7054 | GTN: 67054
Email [1][Land Registry request email]

[2]GOV.UK | [3]@LandRegGov | [4]LinkedIn | [5]Facebook

 

 

Your land and property rights: guaranteed and protected. Since 1862 Land Registry has given assurance and confidence to the property market in England and Wales. Find out more at www.gov.uk/land-registry.

If you have received this email and it was not intended for you, please let us know, and then delete it. Please treat our communications in confidence, as you would expect us to treat yours. Land Registry checks all mail and attachments for known viruses, however, you are advised that you open any attachments at your own risk.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Land Registry request email]
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
3. https://twitter.com/LandRegGov
4. http://www.linkedin.com/company/land-reg...
5. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Land-Regis...

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

I believe this is the Privacy Impact Assessment mentioned in the request:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Madeline Bowles left an annotation ()

Thanks Owen

Petty, Roger, Land Registry

2 Attachments

Dear Madeline Bowles

Thank you for your email of 28 March 2017 where you requested details of
any discussions, documents, policy notes, guidance received from ICO or
lawyers or other qualified bodies on the implications or subsequent impact
of making data held by the Land Registry available to the public via the
open data project.

 

I enclose copy emails in the zip file above. Some information is exempt
under section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA), as the information constitutes third party data. Section
40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt
information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is
satisfied. Under the FOIA disclosure of this information would breach the
fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act 1998, where
it would be unfair to that person/is confidential. The parts that are
exempt have been marked [Redacted].

 

The original price paid privacy impacts are published on the website at
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....
When additional price paid was considered for release a further privacy
impact assessment was undertaken. This is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

If you are dissatisfied with this response to your request, you may seek
an internal review within two months of the date of our reply. Internal
reviews will be dealt within 20 working days. If at the end of this time
we are unable to respond, we will write to you explaining the reasons and
giving you a new date. If you seek an internal review please write to:

Louise Booth

Head of Corporate Legal Services (Core Services)

Head office

Trafalgar House

1 Bedford Park

Croydon

CR0 2AQ

Email: [2][email address]

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) within
three months of the reply for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by
Land Registry. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Roger Petty
Departmental Records Officer

Corporate Legal and Assurance Services

Head Office, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon CR0 2AQ
DD: 0300 006 7054 | GTN: 67054
Email [3][email address]

[4]GOV.UK | [5]@LandRegGov | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Facebook

 

 

Your land and property rights: guaranteed and protected. HM Land Registry has given assurance and confidence to the property market in England and Wales since 1862. Find out more at www.gov.uk/land-registry

If you have received this email and it was not intended for you, please let us know, and then delete it. Please treat our communications in confidence, as you would expect us to treat yours. Land Registry checks all mail and attachments for known viruses, however, you are advised that you open any attachments at your own risk.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
5. https://twitter.com/LandRegGov
6. http://www.linkedin.com/company/land-reg...
7. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Land-Regis...

Dear Mr Petty

Thank you for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Madeline Bowles

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

I've written a blog post about this FOI release. Land Registry have always maintained that the Price Paid dataset was not personal data, so it's rather a revelation to discover that ICO told them the opposite in 2012.

http://mapgubbins.tumblr.com/post/160076...