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Physical Security Thread, Freedom of Information Act request in Technical; Originally Posted by timg Received an identical email from the same sender. Shortly after acknowledging the request I started to ...
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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timg View Post
    Received an identical email from the same sender. Shortly after acknowledging the request I started to receive marketing emails and phone calls from an IT company. Too much of a coincidence and an abuse of our FoI obligations as far as I'm concerned.

    On a positive note our Council's FoI team was extremely helpful and I would recommend getting help to anyone who finds themselves subjected to similar trawling activities.
    Would you like to name and shame the company you suspect? PM it to me if you like if you'd rather not post it here - I'll just add it to the blacklist at reception (or drop a DPA request on them...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    Would you like to name and shame the company you suspect? PM it to me if you like if you'd rather not post it here - I'll just add it to the blacklist at reception (or drop a DPA request on them...)
    PM sent

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    It isn't illegal to use the FOI to find out info then used for marketing, AFAIC - you can hold back 'commercially sensitive' info but that is all. Not really any different from other marketing ploys.
    However neither is it illegal to blacklist cold calling suppliers who use information gathered in this way - you can generally buy from whoever you like (possibly with the caveat that you have enough quotes etc. to show that the supplier that you used for larger purchases was suitable)

    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    As for not completing the FOI - if you really don't want to then send it up the line otherwise the law-breaking buck will stop with you. This 'Tom Elliott' thing is so big that I think they might well pass on details of organisations who refused the request.
    That I agree with 100% - it's your school that's being FOI'd not you - it's not worth risking your career over
    Last edited by BatchFile; 28th June 2010 at 04:22 PM. Reason: added smilie for tone - looked a bit snotty which isn't what I intended

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    However neither is it illegal to blacklist cold calling suppliers who use information gathered in this way - you can generally buy from whoever you like (possibly with the caveat that you have enough quotes etc. to show that the supplier that you used for larger purchases was suitable)
    Absolutely - I agree with this 100%. Just that you can't NOT fill in a FOI to avoid sales calls etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    Would you like to name and shame the company you suspect? PM it to me if you like if you'd rather not post it here - I'll just add it to the blacklist at reception (or drop a DPA request on them...)
    I _was_ reluctant to provide this information based on an unsubstantiated suspicion. This turned out to be the right thing to do as I would have been wrong (unless information is being passed on to other more local companies).

    However I have now received a return receipt which seems to reveal the true destination of emails to "Tom Eliott".

    Here is the useful information...

    Return Receipt

    Your document: Freedom of Information Request

    was received by: <name removed>

    SPECIALIST COMPUTER CENTRES PLC is a company registered in England and Wales with Company No. 01428210.
    Registered office: James House, Warwick Road, BIRMINGHAM. B11 2LE VAT Registration Number is GB 313 6516 80

    I don't think I'm doing anything wrong by posting this publicly available company information. Whether this is a widespread tactic within the company or the actions of an individual employee I'll leave you to decide. Needless to say I won't be dealing with this company if they ever call or write.

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    BatchFile (1st July 2010)

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    BrotherSidious's Avatar
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    Apologies SCC didn't change to IT247 they are a brand (see post below) However, this wasn't who phoned was it?
    Last edited by BrotherSidious; 1st July 2010 at 01:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherSidious View Post
    SCC changed to IT247, this wasn't who ohoned was it?
    SCC didn't change to IT247 - that is simply one of their brands from what I can tell. United Kingdom | SCC

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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    Well, if it is them, judging by the info on here your company: SPECIALIST COMPUTER CENTRES PLC: company details - from workSMART.org.uk
    with my inexpert eye, it could be a desperate act to try to prevent them from going under - looking at the "profit" graph inparticular

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    Inspired by notlob I did the same and got a read receipt from the same place. SCC won't be getting any more orders from me and I am tempted to phone this indivudal up just to confirm they received my information and that it was satisfactory and that they wont be using it for commercial purposes as per my disclaimer in my response.
    Last edited by BrotherSidious; 7th July 2010 at 12:11 PM.

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    Maybe Tom Elliot would like to email a retraction to any current foia requests then? if it is indeed IT247 I would never entertain buying anythign from them now.

    Ben

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  13. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Maybe Tom Elliot would like to email a retraction to any current foia requests then? if it is indeed IT247 I would never entertain buying anythign from them now.

    Ben
    Me either - I must admit I'm considering dropping a DPA request on them to find out for sure
    How to blow your company's reputation in one easy lesson!

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    I sent an email to my Account Manager as follows (I also enclosed the Tom Elliot email and my read receipt). I am awaiting a response as my manager is currently on holiday:

    Due to a recent incident we are currently suspending all dealings with SCC and IT247.

    The reason for this is that we received a Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act request from one Tom Elliot and when replying to this we subsequently received a Read Receipt indicating that it had been received at SCC. We are concerned as to why SCC are requesting information in such a manner (FOI Request) when they could have simply dropped us a customer survey.

    As you may be aware we are legally obliged to answer a FOI request and have had to spend time and effort seeking guidance on this matter before replying. A number of other school’s have also reported that they too have received similar requests from Tom Elliot. Until we receive a satisfactory explanation for these events we shall no longer be placing orders with SCC or IT247.

    When replying to the initial FOI request I specifically included the following in the reply:

    "You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information, using it for marketing purposes or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner."

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    Me either - I must admit I'm considering dropping a DPA request on them to find out for sure
    How to blow your company's reputation in one easy lesson!
    Unfortunately you can't do that as it only applies to public bodies, i.e schools, governement etc... not private companies.

    Ben

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    This link Information Commissioners - Data Protection Register - Entry Details confirms they are on the Data Protection Register. Purpose 2 indicates that they may hold information about me personally (as a client). It is my understanding that as an individual I can submit a DPA request to them (but not an FOI request as that does not apply to non-public bodies).

    Quote from the Information Commissioners Office website:

    "Q: How do I know whether the Data Protection Act applies to my business/organisation?
    The Act will usually apply unless you are an individual holding personal information for your own domestic use, eg an address book.
    "
    Last edited by BrotherSidious; 8th July 2010 at 11:03 AM.

  18. #45

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Unfortunately you can't do that as it only applies to public bodies, i.e schools, governement etc... not private companies.

    Ben
    A DPA request applies to all organisations which hold personal data. So, if this company holds your personal data, you can request a copy of it all under the DPA - for the fee of £10.



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