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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50099223
  • Date: 21 January 2008
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Defence
  • Summary: The complainant requested film footage relating to Operation Cauldron, an exercise carried out by the Ministry of Defence (the ‘MOD’) in 1952. The information contained images of identifiable individuals, and the MOD argued that it would need to obscure or mask the faces of the individuals, as this information would be exempt under sections 38, 40(2) and 44 of the Act. The MOD estimated that the process of masking would exceed the cost limit as set out in section 12 of the Act, and therefore refused the complainant’s request. The Commissioner found that the footage did contain images of identifiable individuals, some of whom may still be alive, but that disclosure of the footage would not breach any of the data protection principles. For this reason the Commissioner found that the MOD wrongly applied the exemption under sections 38, 40(2) and 44, and the cost limit under section 12. The Commissioner therefore requires the MOD to disclose the footage in full.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]