Exam results not restricted by Data Protection Act
Great news. You may recall that last summer I complained that Oxford University had refused to tell what classes of degree each of the Miliband brothers has.
They couldn't tell me for "data protection reasons", the press officer said when I phoned him.
However, a reader, David Mason has been in contact with the Information Commissioner's office, the body which looks after the Data Protection Act. And they have told him that degree results are not covered by the DPA. Nor, it seems, are GCSEs and A-levels.
Tim Clarke of the commissioner's office has told Mr Mason:
"The publication of degree classes (and examination results in general) is a common and accepted practice and accordingly the DPA98 (Data Protection Act 1998) would not prevent this.
"However, the DPA98 still means that data controllers have to ensure processing is fair, and should consider carefully requests from students that their personal data is not published."
So a small victory for freedom of information.
Whether that makes Oxford University and other academic institutions behave any more sensibly is another matter.
We can only hope.