Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Council survey causes privacy concern

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

A survey issued by Wiltshire Council has stirred up a privacy debate in the local community, as it asks questions about resident’s sexuality, debt levels and qualifications.

According to the Salisbury Journal, the document has been sent out to 26,500 households across the county “to help the council develop its housing and planning policy” to provide affordable housing in the area.

The council said responses will be anonymous, but campaign group Privacy International has advised people not to fill out the form at all. PI’s Alexander Hanff told the BBC:

Questions about sexual orientation [and] how much money you have in the bank are highly personal questions…They’re asking for far too much data with far too much variants and this is an issue, and a         concern, from a privacy perspective.

Oddly, the council’s service director for economy and enterprise said, “all this stuff is actually getting cleansed before we get the data”.
Data cleansing usually involves verifying collected information and discarding any data that is out of date, but it’s unclear what is being done to the surveys. The council also claims they are required by law to ask about sexual orientation, but what law this is they don’t say.

The council expects 6,000 completed surveys, so it will be interesting to see how many are submitted after the concerns raised.

Newsnight interview: Wikileaks

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I took part in a Newsnight interview to discuss the leak of Afghan War intelligence documents to whistleblower site Wikileaks. Adrian Lamo, the journalist who disclosed the source of the leak, also appeared.


Newsnight: MPs Expenses debate

Monday, October 12th, 2009

BBC Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman debates the MPs Expenses scandal with Heather Brooke, Benedict Brogan of the Daily Telegraph and ridiculous old fart Stuart Bell.


BBC America interview

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I recorded a short interview with BBC America covering some of the background to the expenses scandal.

FOI on BBC Radio

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

I was on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show today talking about how the public can use freedom of information. You can listen again online for the next week only.

There was also a piece on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that examined the Act’s first 20 days of operation. Journalists who have used the Act, Julian Lewis MP and other public officials talk about the law and whether or not it’s made any difference to the UK culture of secrecy.
Listen again online. (4 mins long)

FOI on You & Yours

Monday, December 13th, 2004

You & Yours picked up the topic of Freedom of Information today. They focused on my favourite campaigning issue – restaurant inspections. A discussion followed with Baroness Ashton, Information and Rights Minister; Phil Boyd, Assistant Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office; Kelly Mannix, Corporate Records Officer at Southwark Council, and Maurice Frankel, Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

You can listen again to the programme here. The FOI segment begins at minute marker 30.00.

FOI on the Politics Show BBC One

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

BBC reporter Gillian Hargreaves from the Politics Show (BBC One) presented a report on the new FOI law on Sunday December 12. If you missed the show, you can view it online during the week here by clicking ‘latest programme’. The FOI segment is at the 44 minute marker.

I am interviewed along with Charles Medawar who has campaigned for better access to drug safety information.