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0 votes

If an email is sent stating "Please do not enter into an email exchange or reply to this email as they will all be subject to Freedom of Information Requests!" and then at the bottom carries a disclaimer/privacy/confidentiality notice surely one cancels out the other? If the contents contain no names - other than those of a councillor and pertain to a complaint about a council policy from someone who wishes to remain anonymous what is the disclaimer for? 

by (560 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
I'm not sure what you mean by a privacy disclaimer? A privacy notice is an explanation of how and why an organisation collects and processes personal information.
by (2.9k points)
I mean this notice at the bottom of emails 'the content of this email is confidential, may be legally privileged and intended for the recipient specified in message only. It is strictly forbidden to share any part of this message with any third party, without a written consent of the sender. If you received this message by mistake, please reply to this message and follow with its deletion, so that we can ensure such a mistake does not occur in the future.' - if this email is subject to FOI then surely the disclaimer contradicts this? Also there were no names, no personal information and simply was content for noting about an anonymously received objection to a proposal that I had introduced so my name was mentioned.
0 votes
Whoever proposed this is inappropriately blurring the distinction between the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and GDPR/Data protection Act 2018. The content in the main body of the E Mail could be provided as a response to an FOI as long as the response doesn't contain personal data regardless of who sent it. The E mail address of the sender should be withheld unless the sender agrees to a clause in a privacy notice to allow personal data to be revealed.
by (35.4k points)
0 votes
You cannot 'opt out' of the FOI act. Regardless of what someone puts at the bottom of an email that email will fall under FOI act unless a valid exemption applies.

With regards to someone requesting that people dont reply to the email to avoid a paper trail that might get revealed by a FOI request - this could be interpreted as being in breach of the Councillor Code of Conduct "I do not prevent anyone from getting information that they are entitled to by law"

and the 7 principles of public life:

"Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing."
by (4.6k points)

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