Police Scotland data sharing with third sector organisations: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

On Monday 15 July 2019, Police Scotland representatives attended the Scottish Government in Edinburgh for further information sharing discussions. These discussions centred on the lawful basis for sharing of Special Category (SC) and Criminal Offence (CO) data between various non-statutory third sector organisations using the Police Scotland interim Vulnerable Persons Database (iVPD) to share this.

Please provide the following:

1. The Police Scotland roles who were in attendance at his meeting.
2. The agencies other than Police Scotland and the Scottish Government who were present at the meeting.
3. The third sector organisations (i.e. Data Controllers) that were recorded as being “partners" with whom Police Scotland would share SC and CO data under Public Task.
4. The version number of the Privacy Notice that was presented at this meeting (e.g. “Version 7 of Feb 2021” V7-A0221), if one was presented.
5. The relevant legislation (i.e. Act and section) that was recorded as giving a statutory gateway for processing as Public Task, as a clear basis in law is required for the Public Task sharing of SC and CO data on Data Subjects without their Consent.
6. The conclusions from meeting on what was to be done about the personal data (including SC and CO) data that had been shared since 25 May 2018 without the Consent (as defined in Article 4(11) ) of the Data Subject with Consent being the lawful condition for data sharing e.g. informing Data Subjects that their personal data had been shared unlawfully by Police Scotland.


1. I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted in relation to question 1 of your request. In relation to question 1, you questioned the application of section 38(1)(b) in respect of Police Scotland attendees and asked that a public interest test be applied.

This information is now being released. Although the ranks of officers where not listed in the note of the workshop on 15 July 2019, I have sought clarification from Police Scotland on whether the officers involved were sufficiently senior to have names disclosed. Police Scotland confirmed that ranks and names can be disclosed in relation to the individuals attending the workshop. This also applies to the reference to an ACC in the workshop note. The note of the workshop is provided at Annex A.

You have also asked that additional searches be undertaken in an effort to identify answers to questions 3, 4 and 5, which relate to a shift from information sharing based on consent to information sharing associated with Public Duty and that, if appropriate, a formal section 17(1) exemption be applied to state that there is no record on this matter.

In respect of these questions, I have checked the searches undertaken and am satisfied that all reasonable searches have been carried out.

3. I have concluded that the original decision in relation to question 3 should be confirmed, with modifications.

In relation to question 3, while there is some ambiguity around whether the list of organisations who attended the workshop are also organisations which Police Scotland are prepared to share information based on Public Task, information is not held on this by the Scottish Government.

Therefore, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. If clarification is needed on this, you should ask Police Scotland - https://www.scotland.police.uk/access-to-information/freedom-of-information/. I understand Police Scotland have related information requests so it may be you have already asked for this.

4, 5 & 6. I have concluded that the original decision in relation to question 4, 5 and 6 should be confirmed, without modifications.

In respect of question 4, there are no Privacy Notices linked to the workshop itself. However, Police Scotland have confirmed that their Privacy Notices are publicly available - www.scotland.police.uk/access-to-information/data-protection/privacy-notices/

There is no additional information to provide in respect of questions 5 or 6. These are points that you may wish to seek clarification on from Police Scotland.

I am therefore satisfied that we were entitled to respond to questions 4, 5 and 6 of your request under section 17(1) of FOISA because the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI - 202100208822 - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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