Reply to post: I apologize for being ignorant in this...

Data watchdog fines Brit council £120k for identifying 943 owners of vacant property

Shadow Systems

I apologize for being ignorant in this...

But aren't property owner records already public records? As in publicly available from the council planning office (at the bottom of the stairs, leopard, etc) that can be had by anyone whom cares to visit & request said data?

If the ownership records of those properties is public, then what difference does it make if the council included that data in a FOIA request for related data? If it's also publicly available data then all it did was save the FOIA requesters an extra request, and the council more money responding to the additional FOIA requests, by including the data in the first FOIA request.

Like if you make a request to know whom owns the vehicle with plate $XYZ123 & the department of motor vehicles sends you not only the owner's name, but address as well. Both the name & address are publicly available, you can always do a reverse look up online or merely dial the operator & ask, so the department providing that data isn't violating any "private data" rules - it's all publicly available.

So please excuse my ignorance of why this is evidently a bad thing, instead explain why it was supposed to be bad so that I might learn.

Thank you. =-)

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