LIBERTY  a charitable organisation concerned about personal freedom and human rights, as they are influenced by the Human Rights Act.  This also concerns individual’s personal information, of whatever kind it may be..

In respect of the handling of ‘information’. Liberty abysmally  fails to ensure that the rights of the individual are protected and information is handled fairly.

In  January 2014, F learned about the existence of the NHS Statutory Restrictions and the influence of the Human Rights Act  on a  High Court case Brent v N&P  in 2005.  The Appeal clearly states that “IT IS NOT in dispute that the disclosure of persons medical condition to a third party without their consent is a breach of Article 8 of the ECHR, enacted into British Law under the Human Rights Act 1998.”

F interested in getting an opinion from Liberty, decided to ask them about it.  However, the only means he could contact Liberty electronically, was through their Contact Us  webform.

However, there is a serious flaw in this method of contacting anyone, as the sender ends up with NOTHING to prove that he had actually sent anything at all; as discussed  on Contact by Webform page.

As a result of this method of contact,  F does NOT have a copy of his original enquiry to Liberty.  Therefore this page is incomplete in this respect.

Fortunately, all of the Government departments we  contacted, were  using the ‘traditional’ method:, except the DHSC, therefore our records are more complete..

On 15th January 2015, F contacted Liberty via their webform.   Unfortunately, a copy of his submission is not available, as Liberty did not  sent him a confirmation of receipt, as is the practice with other organisations, using this method of contact, the DHSC, for example.

Their reply  is confused and incomplete. F would have thought that such an organisation specialising in the  matters of personal freedom would be on the ball.

If person’s  HIV status information is involved, this becomes even more serious, as the NHS  Statutory Restrictions on data handling control  its disclosure.

They merely considered what F had to say, rather than to contribute their expertise, relating to Human Rights.  This should have been reference to Common Law CONFIDENTIALITY and most importantly of all, ARTICLE 8 OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS LAW.

Liberty told F that the NHS Statutory Restrictions ONLY apply to the NHS.  Yet, all of the local authorities we asked  confirmed that they have to follow the ‘Confidentiality – NHS Code of Practice’, where paragraph 46 deals with this Statutory Restriction.  None told us that this would be EXCEPT paragraph 46.  The DHCLG confirmed that local authorities must follow this Code, when contemplating disclosure of HIV related information.

NHS organisations have been required to have a Caldicott Guardian since 1998 and they were introduced into social care, run by local authorities,  in 2002, mandated in England by Local Authority Circular: LAC(2002)2. 

Therefore, the handling of individual’s confidential information is exactly the same, whether it is  in the NHS or local authority,  This endorses the fact that the  NHS Code of Practice must also be followed  by both.

In respect of  the Local Government Act 1974,paragraph 29-(7) provides an EXCEPTION.  

It must be remembered that the LGO NEVER  asked for any  of F’s medical conditions, especially his HIV+ status.  This is discussed on the LGO page.

An example of Article 8 breach is shown in Z v Finland.  It is also referred to in  Brent v Mr N P

Of interest  is the Ministry of Justice Legal Aid  Agency’s statement dated  13th October 2016, which confirms that F’s matter falls not only within the remit of the Human Rights Act, but also that if F wished, funding would be available, should he need it.

The ICO’s handling of the Soho HIV Clinic’s “accidental” disclosure of  Newsletter recipients’ email addresses is also worthy of a consideration.

Conclusion: utter WASTE OF TIME.  It appears that Liberty simply jump of the bandwagon and peddle the well-worn themes… unable to be at all original in other matters.  It is suggested that you double check everything you may be told by Liberty, as it is hardly credible some matters.

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