LONDON-L ArchivesArchiver > LONDON > 2005-02 > 1108132674
From: "John Brown" <>
Subject: Re: [Lon] Freedom of Information Act
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 14:37:54 -0000
References: <1jJb+XAf$JDCFwefirstname.lastname@example.org> <003701c51044$b18e7110$6401a8c0@Chris>
"Chris Goddard" <> wrote :
> Eve wrote:
>> it might NEVER have been released and the 100 years is a concession.
> And still might not be; at least, not in 1912. Centenarians are less of a
> rarity these days, and the Data Protection Act might be used to protect
> their privacy.
The DPA is not about privacy but about the accuracy and correct use of
information. I think the only way it could be used as an arguement against
release of the 1911 census is if it was determined that the purposes of the
census did not include later release for public scrutiny and someone
certainly could argue this point. However, the Act was not in force in 1911,
so it may be a difficult case to win and, as a historical 'document', the
census may have a different status anyway.
>On the other hand, a lucrative partnership with Ancestry might be more
>attractive and outweigh the risk of a centenarian bringing a case against
>the UK government.
This may well be the deciding factor !
> The 2003 mid-year estimates, derived from the 2001 census, for example,
> are used to determine how much my local library service pays for access to
> Ancestry Library Edition this year. The fact that young men in the city
> chose not to be counted in 2001 actually helps to keep the cost of the
> subscription down.
But also has the effect of reducing the amount your local authority is given
to support its services :-(
>But family historians one hundred years or more hence will be castigating
>the ONS >for not adopting a more inclusive strategy in 2001.
But one also wonders what, if anything, of more recent censuses will be
released. As the format has changed, and computerisation has proceeded, the
relatively simple schedules of earlier years have been replaced by extensive
questionnaires, and the DPA may definitely have a role to play. Best to make
sure that your own details are carefully preserved elsewhere for all those
family historians and descendants of the future.
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