UK Liberty

New FOIA guidance – attack on anonymity for no good reason

Posted in freedom of information, privacy by ukliberty on January 15, 2009

Been meaning to write about this since I heard from FishNChipPapers that his requests were being refused by the Met on the grounds that he wasn’t using a real name.


The Information Commissioner’s Office has published some new Guidelines for Organisations, regarding the use of Anonymous or Pseudonymous Names by people who submit Freedom of Information Act requests:

Guidance on Valid request – name and address for correspondence (.pdf)

The name of the applicant

The use of the phrase “the name of the applicant” in section 8(1)(b) indicates that the real name of the applicant should be used when requesting information and not any other name, for example, a pseudonym.

WhatDoTheyKnow sums it up.

Why is this considered necessary?

And what real difference will it make?  People can and will continue to use plausible pseudonyms.


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