back to article ICO tells public sector to respond to Twitter

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has told public authorities with Twitter accounts that they must respond to freedom of information (FoI) requests made via the micro-blogging site. It has said in its July 2011 newsletter that, although Twitter is not an ideal channel for submitting or responding to requests, it "does …

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FAIL

Riiiiight...

"This means that the Twitter user's real name should be visible in their public profile"

And to confirm its you, you need first line of address, post/zip code, DOB and social security no where applicable.

I see identity theft increasing this year!

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Meh

No title is required

This should be interesting. I think there will definitely be an increase in the number of requests under FOI. Best thing the public bodies can do is put more information on their websites, or maybe even have decent easy to navigate clear websites.

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Silver badge
Mushroom

Are you listening Paul Chambers?

So, next time Robin Hood airport is closed you make a FoI tweet about when it might re-open, rather than a joke about blowing it up.

Except you have a life ban, so never mind.

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Silver badge

Logical

The key point seems to be that if an organisation is using [insert network of choice] for communication they should be prepared to handle enquiries via the same channel. Tough nuts to those who think Twitter is an easy way out - sometimes it's better just to stick with what works.

"Death to sense" as Mr Herbet Prefabs would say.

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FAIL

More bullying by the ICO

This is yet another example of how the ICO likes to take a firm stand with government organisations, yet regularly wimps out when challenging the private sector. I'm still waiting for a decision from the ICO on whether they're going to take action against a popular highstreet bank over their refusal to comply with my request not to receive direct marketing. I want the bank to remove marketing appearing when I login to my online account, as according to the ICO, any and all advertising banners (even generic advertisng) appearing on a logged-in page would constitute direct marketing. The Bank are refusing to comply. What's the ICO doing about it? Not a lot! Now if this was a government organisation they'd be all over them like a rash.

Double standards every time... the ICO handles private organisations with kid gloves while poking a stick at the goverment orgs. They seriously need to grow a pair.

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Stop

Really?

So how many councils, Schools, Hospitals etc have leaked info.

Now how many have been fined?

Now calm down, as for your request, maybe they think it's so petty it's sat at the bottom of a pile so high it will never get done. In fact I doubt you've got you facts correct, put if you'd care to show me the information that shows this, I will happily agree.

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Facepalm

Oh come on

What sort of FOI request can be sent via Twitter without the message containing a URL payload?

Or the requestors could just make things easier for everybody and use www.whatdotheyknow.com If necessary they could next tweet the URL of the FOI for the benefit of their admiring audience.

I assume the function of an FOI request is to actually get an answer so why not ask nicely. Not out of deference but to reduce the reasons for prevarication or refusal.

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Anonymous Coward

Nonsense

If Twitter is a valid medium to communicate an FOI request then it should be considered a valid medium for the response. As such Tweeted FOI requests should only be answered in 140 characters or less. If, as its adherents seem to think, twitter is a valid tool for serious communication then users should be forced to use nothing but Twitter for a year and see how they get on.

Anyway, anybody who has had to deal with FOI requests will tell you that the majority of them are from salespeople wanting to know where and how the council spends it's money. FOI would make a lot more sense if the regulations specifically banned FOI requests and their responses being used for commercial purposes. You'd be amazed (or maybe not) by how much time the public sector spends responding to FOI requests who's only purpose could be commercial.

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