Department of Health, R (on the application of) v Information Commissioner  EWHC 1430 (Admin)
Data Protection – Article 8 – Abortion – Freedom of Information
20 April 2011
The Information Commission could order the Department of Health to disclose late-term abortion statistics as there was an extremely remote risk of identification of individuals.
(1) The Claimant, the Department of Health, brought this appeal against a decision of the Information Tribunal made in mid-October 2009, which ordered the Claimant to disclose late term abortion statistics. The appeal was brought under section 59 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Claimant feared that disclosure of the statistics would create a real risk of individual identification of patients. The tribunal ordered that although the requested information was personal data, the likelihood of identification was so remote that the disclosure was justified.
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