Potential LRMP changes: Implications for Identity Fraud

The request was successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request.

I see you are doing a consultation on potential changes to the LRMP, which includes potentially adding a photograph to the register. I am concerned about the increased potential for identity fraud with putting a photograph on the register.

Your consultation documents on the LRMP changes are available here:
http://www.gmc-uk.org/LRMP_Consultation_...

I see on page 20 there is a proposed entry for a fictional doctor Dr Wilfred Adams (Fictional GMC number 94894265).
It has been pointed out that the photograph used for this fictional Dr Adams has changed from an original document, available on the GMC Wordpress site (https://gmcuk.files.wordpress.com/2016/0...)

I see that the photograph used for the fictional Dr Adams here is in reality a genuine doctor, Dr Pier Lambiase (GMC: 3581218), details available here: http://theharleystreetclinic.com/dr-pier...

My FOI questions are:
- Did the GMC seek permission from the genuine doctor to use his likeness in the consultation documents?
- Was any complaint raised by anyone over the use of this photograph at any point?
- Please provide all emails involved in the creation of the wordpress Dr Adams photograph
- Please provide all emails/other communications sent or received by GMC involved with the change of this photograph for the fictional Dr Adams
- Have the GMC reflected on this episode, especially as it highlights how easy it could be to steal the photographic identity of a doctor? If so, please provide all comments on this episode in their original form (eg minutes/emails/letters/faxes etc).

Yours faithfully,

J P Sturgeon

FOI, General Medical Council

Thank you for getting in touch. Please note this is an automated email.

 

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can with a further acknowledgement.
You’ll usually hear from us on the next working day, but it might take a
little longer during busy periods.

 

In the meantime, if you want any further information about the GMC, please
visit our website.

 

 

Thank you

 

Information access team

General Medical Council

Email: [GMC request email]

Telephone: 0161 923 6365

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
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J P Sturgeon left an annotation ()

Just in case the original file should go missing, it has been backed up here:

https://postimg.org/image/fezqfw0zj/

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Dr Sturgeon

 

Your information request – F16/8367/SW

 

Thank you for your email dated 16 August.

 

How we will consider your request

 

We’re going to look at your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond but we’ll come
back to you as soon as we can. 

 

Who to contact

 

Simon Willis will be handling your request. If you have any questions you
can call him on 0161 923 6310 or email him at [1][email address].

 

Yours sincerely

Miss Sadie Jones

Information Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Dear GMC,

Please may I take this opportunity to remind you that Section 10(1) of the FOIA 2000 requires a response within 20 working days, starting the first working day after receiving the original request.

I have not yet received a response to my FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

J P Sturgeon

FOI, General Medical Council

Thank you for getting in touch. Please note this is an automated email.

 

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can with a further acknowledgement.
You’ll usually hear from us on the next working day, but it might take a
little longer during busy periods.

 

In the meantime, if you want any further information about the GMC, please
visit our website.

 

 

Thank you

 

Information access team

General Medical Council

Email: [GMC request email]

Telephone: 0161 923 6365

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and
doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and
take action when they are not met.

show quoted sections

Simon Willis (0161 923 6310), General Medical Council

2 Attachments

Dear Dr Sturgeon,

 

Your information access request

 

Thank you for your email of 16 August 2016 asking for information about
the photograph that was originally used in the mock profile created for
the purposes of the consultation on the proposed changes to our online
register; the List of Registered Medical Practitioners (LRMP). I’ve
considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

As you rightly point out, the GMC did change photographs of the mock
profile for “Dr Wilfred Adams” during the course of the consultation. The
task of creating the mock up of what a future register might look like (in
which the photograph appeared) was outsourced to an external provider and
we were advised that they would be using pictures of their own staff
members. Unfortunately, it transpired after the consultation had begun and
the mock profile published, that they had in fact lifted a photo from the
internet.

 

We can confirm that neither the GMC nor the contracted company sought
permission from the individual whose photograph that was used and we did
receive a complaint about the matter. We raised our concerns with our
third party provider over what had occurred and have been assured, in
response, that changes have now been made to their project governance
systems to prevent similar problems in the future.

 

You have requested “all emails involved in the creation of the wordpress
Dr Adams photograph”. As we did not take either the original or the
replaced photographs, we do not hold such documents.

 

Please find attached bundle of documents, in respect of your request for
correspondences related to changing the photograph on the mock profile. I
am unable to give you all the information because it would breach the Data
Protection Act 1998 (DPA) to give this to you.

 

Section 40(2), by virtue of section 40(3)(a)(i) of FOIA provides an
exemption where the information is the personal data of a third party and
releasing the information would breach any principle of the DPA. In this
instance disclosure would breach the first principle of the DPA, which
requires the processing of information to be 'fair and lawful'. I believe
the conditions in Schedule 2 of the DPA, which are about the processing of
personal information, are not met and therefore giving you the information
would be unlawful.

 

As for the reflection on this episode, we have issued an apology to the
person concerned as has our third party provider and replaced the
photograph with another. We duly note your point about the potential for
identity fraud, I will personally feed this back to the team that is
carrying out the consultation.

 

Your right to appeal

 

I'm sorry I couldn’t provide all the information you requested. You can
appeal against this decision to Julian Graves, Information Access Manager.
 If you want to appeal, please set out your reasons and write to him at
[1][email address].  You can also appeal to the Information
Commissioner, the regulator of the FOIA and DPA – we can provide more
details about this if you need them.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Simon Willis

Information Access Officer

Resources & Quality Assurance Directorate

Direct Dial: 0161 923 6310

Email: [2][email address]

 

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