Saturday, 19 December 2009

Freedom of Information Disclosures not Fully Redacted

Back in September 2008 I blogged a story about Government officials' inability to properly redact personal details from documents that are released following Freedom of Information requests.

For example, the Department of Culture Media and Sport placed online some documents it had released that related to the Giants Causeway World Heritage site. DCMS removed the personal information following a request submitted by Jim Allister MEP but the information had by that time found its way into Google cache. After a follow-up request DCMS arranged with Google for the cached material to be removed from the public domain. That you might imagine should have been the end of the problem. But no.

The DCMS material in PDF format is currently visible in the National Archive's web archives. When you open a document the correspondence appears with the personal details blacked out. However, when you click to view the PDF document as a text file the personal details are there for all to see!!

Update April 20, 2011

It seems the electronic redaction 'disease' has reached epidemic proportions :L