Dear Information Commissioner’s Office

I wondered if you could please disclose to me any information - such as an assessment of legality, correspondence etc. - which you hold about the "Samaritans Radar" app which Samaritans recently launched, then withdrew in light of serious legal and ethical concerns being raised.

Many thanks
Jon Baines

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

 

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

 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

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Information Commissioner’s Office

5 December 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0561451

 

Dear Mr Baines

Request for Information
 
Thank you for your request for information dated 12 November 2014.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with a copy of any information ‘held’ by a
public authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request
 
In your e-mail you asked “I wondered if you could please disclose to me
any information - such as an assessment of legality, correspondence etc. -
which you hold about the "Samaritans Radar" app which Samaritans recently
launched, then withdrew in light of serious legal and ethical concerns
being raised.”
 
Response to your request
 
We can confirm that we do hold the information you have requested. In
considering your request the ICO is able to rely on section 31(1)(g) of
the FOIA.
 
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).” 
 
The purposes referred to in sections 31(2)(a) and (c) are –
 
“(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 an organisation has breached the Data
Protection Act.
 
However, 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 disclosing the letter are –
 

* increased transparency in the way in which the Samaritans have
responded to the ICO’s enquiries; and
 
* increased transparency in the way in which the ICO conducts its
enquiries.

 The factors in withholding the letter are –
 

* the public interest in maintaining organisations’ trust and confidence
that their replies to the ICO’s enquiries will be afforded an
appropriate level of confidentiality while investigating an ongoing
issue;
 
* the public interest in organisations being open and honest in their
correspondence with the ICO, without fear that their comments will be
made public prematurely or, as appropriate, at all; and
 
* the public interest in maintaining the ICO’s ability to conduct 
investigations as it thinks fit.

These public interest factors are particularly strong while an
investigation is still ongoing but may, depending on the circumstances,
diminish over time once an investigation has been concluded and the ICO’s
findings made known.
 
The ICO acknowledges that there is considerable public interest in
disclosure. However, these public interests may be met by disclosure at a
later stage, once an investigation has concluded and an outcome reached.
 
Consequently, considering all the circumstances of the case the ICO has
concluded that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs
the public interest in disclosure and the information is withheld.

I am sorry, therefore, that in this instance we are unable to provide you
with the correspondence that you have requested. 

Review Procedure
 
I hope this provides you with the information you require.  However, 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 [1][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 [2]here.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Ashley Duffy      Lead Information Access Officer
 
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF.
T. 01625 545625  F. 01625 524510  [3]www.ico.org.uk
 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Thanks for the reply, and I accept the application if the exemption.

Although outwith FOIA, can I request that you proactively disclose the requested information once the investigation is complete (rather than my needing to make further FOI requests)?

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Baines

casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

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

 

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

 

Please note that 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 ‘[1]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 want an internet search provider to remove a link to information
about you – it will be a little longer before we can respond. We are
currently considering the implications of the recent decision by the Court
of Justice of the European Union and will contact you again in the next
six weeks.

 

Please note that we will not look at requests to remove internet search
results unless you have first asked the search provider. You should also
send us copies of all related correspondence.

 

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

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO - we will
contact you as soon as possible if we need any more information to answer
your request. If we don't need any more information we will respond to you
within our published, and statutory, service levels. For more information
please see our webpage [2]'access information about the ICO' (go to our
homepage and follow the link for ‘about the ICO’).

 

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
‘[3]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 you have a matter you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113 (local rate).

 

Yours faithfully

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

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

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [5]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/raising...
2. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
3. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_work/s...
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
5. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

12 December 2014

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0561451

 

Dear Mr Baines

Thank you for your email.

When the ICO comes to a conclusion about this matter we will likely
release a statement. However, we would not normally proactively disclose
all correspondence about a particular issue.

If following the resolution of the issue, you consider that this is
information which should be in the public domain, you may wish to make a
further request.

Yours sincerely

Ashley Duffy
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545625  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/
2. https://twitter.com/iconews

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