Saturday, October 17, 2009

Plaudits for Environment and Data Protection!

Back in September, Clameur de Haro blogged about the further example of the intrusive state and its cavalier approach to data protection which seemed to be represented by Environment’s apparently selective targeting of oil consumers for an advisory about the steps necessary to prevent oil spillage pollution.
Data Protection actually responded to the blogpost very quickly, and (with due apologies for the time gap) CdeH is delighted to thank them and share the information they provided –
Distribution of the Oil Care Sticker
The Oil Care Group was established in 2008 in conjunction with Environmental Protection’s ‘Oil Care Campaign’. The group provides a forum for the oil industry (including the Island’s three fuel distributors and a number of boiler engineers) and Environmental Protection to discuss oil related issues and develop environmental best practice with regard to reducing the risk of oil pollution of the aquatic environment.
The Oil Care Sticker aims to provide simple and practical advice to domestic oil tank owners on how to stop oil pollution occurring and what to do if oil is lost to the environment. The Oil Care Group agreed that the best way to distribute the stickers to householders was through the fuel companies. Environmental Protection provided the oil companies with pre-packed sealed envelopes, which contained the sticker and an advisory letter from Environmental Protection. The letter was written on 26 June, 2008 and does not contain any address data. This method of distribution was decided to avoid data protection issues associated with the provision of personal information.
Oil Care stickers are only sent by the fuel companies to their customers if they do not have an oil sticker visible on their tank. To date approximately 10,000 stickers and advisory letters have been given to the fuel companies for distribution.
Distribution of an advisory letter providing information regarding single-skinned oil tank
Following a request from one of the fuel companies, a further advisory letter has been produced to advise people of the environmental risks of owning a single-skinned oil tank. The advisory letter is distributed at the fuel companies’ discretion and aims to support them in reducing the number of high risk oil tanks on the Island. The single skinned oil tank letter was written on 22 August, 2009, with approximately 50 letters provided to the fuel company.
So it appears that, in deciding the best method of distribution, both Environment and Data Protection had very much of the forefront of their minds the need for the protection of the oil distributors’ customers’ confidential personal data. A large Clameur de Haro plaudit to each of them.
A large raspberry, however, to those oil distributors who clearly didn’t feel it remotely necessary to reassure their customers that receiving a targeted advisory from Environment did not mean that confidential customer information had been disclosed.
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