The Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) has dismissed an appeal by Goldsmith International Business School Limited in relation  to a First Tier Tribunal decision, which held that the Home Office was entitled to rely on the personal data exemption under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The First Tier Tribunal had upheld the Information Commissioner’s decision that the Home Office did not have to disclose details of two of its immigration decisions following an information request from Goldsmith IBS. It was held that the immigration notices contained the personal data of applicants and disclosure would not be compatible with the first data protection principle. The Upper Tribunal also looked at the application of the “reasonable necessity” requirement in condition 6(1) of Schedule 2  to the Data Protection Act 1998 and held that the First-tier Tribunal had correctly observed that Goldsmith IBS’s legitimate interest in having access to the information could be met by other methods which interfered less with students’ privacy. The Upper Tribunal upheld the decision of the First-tier Tribunal and dismissed the appeal.

Decision by the Upper Tribunal