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Data breaches and the UK Freedom of Information Act: Jon Baines for The Guardian

Posted on 18 August 2023

Mishcon de Reya Senior Data Protection specialist Jon Baines was quoted in the media discussing the serious data breaches by police forces in response to FoI requests, which have prompted Lord Clark, a leading author of the UK Freedom of Information Act, to call for a parliamentary review.

Speaking to The Guardian, Jon explained that the current state of FoI reflects several years of under enforcement by the information commissioner. He also supported Lord Clark’s request for a parliamentary review of the FoIA and voiced concerns that there could be further serious data breaches in future.

He commented: “I feel there might be a bit of a perfect storm at the moment around this historic under-enforcement of FoIA, and of data breaches, in conjunction with the stated intention effectively not to issue fines to public authorities. I fear it might lead to even more downgrading [of the importance of FoI by public authorities]. But also, it might lead to more sloppiness when it comes to disclosure.”

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