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BBC News – Data laws ‘have made university references worthless’.

This article on BBC News caught my eye this morning (thanks to @legalaware).

I recently delivered a seminar on this very subject at the Local Government and Social Housing conference (run annually by @ExchangeC).

The consensus of the group I led was in line with the opinion of Baroness Deech and echo’s the open lines of Tony Blair’s  authobiograph:

Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head ‘till it drops off my shoulders. You idiot. You naïve, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I wake at the imbecility of it.

Tony Blair, A Journey, September 2010

I whole heartedly agree with the need for transparency of government and accessibility to information held about oneself but I question whether the legislation is now fit for purpose. It is unquestionably onerous but the more serious point is that it may well fetter, in some areas, freedom of expression and a candid response