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Publication of full date-of-birth

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Publication of full date-of-birth

Postby Anthony Treacher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:50 pm

The editor of Masters Athletics, the house magazine of the British Masters Athletics Federation (BMAF), published my full date-of-birth in a notice about me in its Summer 2007, page 5 issue. In December 2007 I filed a complaint to the government data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), that the notice with my full date-of-birth caused me personal distress.

ICO informed me: 'A request may be made to the Commissioner by or on behalf of any person who is, or believes himself to be, directly affected by any processing of personal data for an assessment as to whether it is likely or unlikely that the processing has been or is being carried out in compliance with the provisions of this Act.'

On 11 August 2008, the ICO made its assessment:

'On the basis of the further information that you have provided I am changing our original assessment. It is now out view that the inclusion of your date of birth in the notice about your ban was likely to have contravened the third principle.'

The said third principle of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 states that 'personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.'

From the ICO Annual Report 2006/2007 page 14:

'More than half of data protection cases required us to simply provide advice and guidance. In some
cases this advice was relatively straightforward, in others extremely complex. In the remainder of
cases, we considered whether a breach of the Data Protection Act or Privacy and Electronic
Communications Regulations was likely to have occurred.

In one third (35.28%) of these cases we decided a breach was likely to have occurred and the
organisation took remedial action in three quarters (77.49%) of these cases. Such remedial actions
may include a data controller correcting an individual’s record, implementing a data protection
policy or training staff.

Outcome of cases closed (in pie chart form):

Advice & guidance 56.45%
Breach likely 15.36%
Breach unlikely 12.24%
Assessment criteria not met 14.55%
Other 1.39%'

I am informed that in court proceedings a judge will respect an assessment from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that a breach of the Data Protection Act is likely to have occurred.

My advice to editors of athletics publications is that they should shy away from providing full date-of-birth when it not necessary to the context, particularly when the context is negative to the data subject. But that should obvious, unless of course the editor, or the organisation behind him, intended to cause offence anyway.

In the normal case where the context is positive to the data subject, for instance Tim Grose's admirable Athletics Data ranking lists, then there should be no problem at all in publishing full date-of-birth. For safety's sake however, in the very unlikely event that an athlete might object, then it would be advisable to provide the data subject (athlete) even there with a means of opting out of having full date-of-birth published.
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Postby Patriot » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:25 pm

Are you stuck for something to do? Jeez......
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Postby Javelin Sam » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:09 pm

just how sharp does that axe you are grinding need to be?
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Journalistic sources?

Postby Anthony Treacher » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:15 am

OK you guys. Dazzle us again with your intelligence.

I have asked the editor of Masters Athletics for the name of the person who supplied the information in the notice containing my full date-of-birth.

May I do that? Or am I infringing the Council of Europe recommendation on the rights of journalists not to reveal their sources?
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Postby TheRealSub10 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:01 pm

Maybe it is just on Powerof10? Mine is!
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:08 pm

I know and congratulations! Me too on the Athletics Data rankings. Those are positive contexts. Neither you nor I have any complaint there I think.

But that is not the point. We all need educating. An athlete's personal data such as full date-of-birth is not public property. It is subject to the Data Protection Act. As the 'data subject' you 'own' your personal data such as exact date-of birth. As an athlete you supplied your date-of-birth to a club for a specific purpose such as club membership or competition entry and only that. Anyone publishing it outside that context potentially runs a risk.

Nobody has the right to use your date-of-birth in a context to which you have not approved, in particular a context that is deliberately derogatory. In my case the governmental Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) essentially stated that the processing of my date-of-birth was not in compliance with the Data Protection Act in that it was excessive in relation to the purpose for which it was processed.

The trouble is I do not have the name of the person who actually supplied the entire derogatory notice, which incidentally comprised that infringement of the Data Protection Act. Since July 2007 the editor of Masters Athletics has consistently refused any contact, has ignored my request for "Free Opportunity to Reply" and will therefore certainly ignore my latest request about his sources. Thereby this question about protection of journalist sources. I need to ask the editor that question before I can take them to court but I am uncertain as to whether the editor is covered by "protection of journalistic sources."
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Postby TheRealSub10 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:00 am

I don't want to belittle your obvious distress but it sounds to me like the author copied and pasted your date of birth from Athletics Data and then rather than changed it to "born September 2008", or just "born 2008" left it as "born 21.09.2008". In the context it wasn't a "polite" thing to do but it could have been as simple as that.

If the source was "the internet" will you then go after the people who host power of 10?

As for why I don't want my full date of birth on Powerof10 - well that and my place of birth both constitute important pieces of info that can be used for fraudulent purposes.
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Postby sleady » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:26 pm

You don't even live in this country. Shove off you old fart and stop wasting British taxpayers money.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:07 pm

sleady, what exactly is wrong with you? Don't you like people who live abroad?

The Croydon County Court has explained this:

"You can start a money claim in any County Court. As you are in Sweden you
will need to provide a correspondence address for yourself in the UK."
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Postby sleady » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:17 pm

I don't like people who waste the taxes that I pay on pointless, petty nonsense. The courts in this country have enough to deal with, without your pathetic, continued tirade against BMAF.
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Postby BigGut » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:44 pm

Anthony,

A word of warning. If you are going to rely on what is NOT a legal decision in court then please ensure that you have informed the ICO of the following.

The data provided is in the public domain - Therefor is not covered by the Data Protection Act. In addition please note that the Act does not care a jot about the fact that one publication is positive and the other negative, that is your narrative and not the law.

That you have not sought for it to be removed from the public domain - Therefor that you have not sought to mitigate your own losses.

That the provision of your date of birth is relevant in a banning notice in order to ensure that you and not some other Anthony Treacher remains BARRED from competition under the jurisdiction of BMAF.

I think once all of the information is actually provided a very different opinion will be forthcoming. Information that is in the public domain is not covered by the Act and the context of the article is not relevant to disclosure of the data.

I expect some longwinded drivel in response, what would be most contructive is if you provided the ICo case number and provided them with permission to talk with me so that I can fillthem in on the pieces of information that you blatantly neglected to mention.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:23 pm

sleady. Just a teeny-weeny little reminder. The BMAF broke the law - not me.

BigGut. Communicate your views to the BMAF Secretary. She can then appeal against the ICO assessment.
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Postby BigGut » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:00 pm

Anthony,

Please don't do this to yourself again. you are getting high and mighty and talking about defending things and breaking the law when you have nothing more than advice from the ICO based upon half of the information.

THE ABSOLUTE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT THE DATA PROTECTION ACT DOES NOT COVER INFORMATION WHICH IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. YOU ARE FULLY AWARE THAT YOUR DOB IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN THROUGH AD SO YOU HAVE NO CASE!!!!!

If you have not divulged this information and the fact that the DOB would be proportional to identifying you as a banned athlete then is it any wonder that you got some ADVICE about the matter that is entirely misleading. Please check with them, you will also find that the Data Protection Act does not care whether the data is attached to a positive or negative story. It is about the data. You have no objection to your date of birth being in the public domain, this is demonstrated in law by your inaction against Athletics Data, the issue is the content of the article published in Masters Athletics, this is not covered by the ICo but by the Press Complaints Commission.

Go ahead, go to court. You do not have a case and you will lose. The BMAF have nothing to defend as the information from the ICO is not a legal decision. I am advising you that you need to give them this information. I am avising you that if you don't then you are proceding on a false premise and will achieve nothing but shooting yourself in the foot financially and costing the public purse money paying for a judge and court admin for a nonsense complaint.

The BMAF have not broken the act, they can't have broken it when the information is alrweady in the public domain with your consent, tacit though it may be, and when the data is necessary to identify you as a banned individual. Please just trust me and check this out properly before you waste everuyoines time, including your own.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:54 pm

BigGut. Thank you for your very pertinent reference to The Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

I complained to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) more than a year ago. The PCC cannot implement or impose any ruling on the BMAF's Masters Athletics magazine. That is because the BMAF magazine Masters Athletics does not subscribe to the PCC voluntary self-regulatory system. The PCC, despite that and without needing to do so, made an assessment. The PCC also offered to mediate in a voluntary settlement between myself and the editor of Masters Athletics.

The editor of the BMAF Masters Athletics magazine definitely refused to participate in any voluntary settlement under the auspices of PCC. That gave PCC no choice but to close the case - again because Masters Athletics magazine does not participate in the PCC self-regulatory system. A judge in a UK Small Claims Court may well take into consideration the BMAF Masters Athletics magazine editor's refusal to collaborate in a voluntary settlement with me under the auspices of PCC.

The question of whether our athletics club magazines should contribute and participate in the PCC self-regulatory system is worth a separate topic on the Athletics Weekly forum.
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Postby BigGut » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:42 pm

Anthony your case will not see the inside of a court. This is because once the full truth is known then there will be no case to answer. You cannot clainm that the publication of your date of birth causes you distress when it is published in the public domain by athletics data with your full knowledge.

The fact that one use is positive and the other nagative is not relevant to the publishing of the data.

As for the PCO I guess you would envisage that every newsletter in the ,land should register. Personally I don't think that he PCC should be madatory and it is quite clear that they will not have investigated as there is no remit to be able to do so so any opinion based as usual on your one sided half story is completely invalid.

The same goes for the ICO. UNless you have informed them of the reason for publishing your DOB and informed them of the fact that it is already in the public domain with your blessing then their assessment is not something you can rely on.

THE FACT REMAINS the Data protection Act dos not prevent the publishing of data that is already in the public domain, your DOB is and so there is no breach. The fact that one use is positive and another negative is irrelevant.

So stop pretending that a Governemnt Body has said what they have done is wrong. If you give someone only the information that you want them to hear then of course they can only come to the conclusion that you want them to.
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Postby BigGut » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:25 pm

Furthrer to previous posts.

The Data Protection Act does not care about the positive or negative nature of articles which data is published alongside that is not it's remit.

Mr Treacher claims that the publishing of his Date of Birth causes him upset and distress.

Yet he himself posts it to the internet here:

http://www.masterstrack.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=568

if it causes him so much distress to see his date of birth published in a public fora then why has he done it himself.

Answer because he isn't upset by the publishing of the data, which he already knew was in the public domain, but by the fact that a negative article, all factual, about him was published. Stop abusing the data protection act Treacher!!
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:09 pm

BigGut. Thanks for that reference to my case on MastersTrack.com. Excellent!

Correct. The question is not simply publication of date-of-birth. The question is publication of date-of-birth in a negative context. Compare:

"BigGut has applied for tickets to the Milton Keynes Boy Scout Jamboree."

"BigGut, Date of Birth 1/04/59, who is on probation for molesting young boys at Boy Scout Jamborees, has applied for tickets to the Milton Keynes Boy Scout Jamboree.

BigGut could complain to the Information Commissioner's Office about the latter.
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Postby BigGut » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:34 pm

Anthony you are quite clearly clueless.

THE NEGATIVE CONTEXT IS IRRELEVANT TO DATA PROTECTION! The data is in the public domain and as such it is not a breach to publish your date of birth. you are not upset by your date of bith being published as you have shown by your own actions.

Anyone could complain to theICO that is there right. However your example is not pertinent to your complaint.

The correct example would be:

"BigGut, Date of Birth 1/04/59, who is on probation for molesting young boys at Boy Scout Jamborees, has applied for tickets to the Milton Keynes Boy Scout Jamboree."

and

""BigGut, who is on probation for molesting young boys at Boy Scout Jamborees, has applied for tickets to the Milton Keynes Boy Scout Jamboree."

In fact there are further parts of the act dealing with sexual offenders and public saftey issues so the example is not entirely comaprable but I will ignore the specifics and deal with the genreal principle of the act. I realise that you feel that you need to give examples which are distatesteful and personally insulting but I will also ignore that since I realise what a vindictive piece of work you truly are.

If the date of birth were in the public domain then the Data Protection Act would not prohibit it's inclusion regardless of the negative connotations of the article it was included in. Your case clearly falls on this point.

If the date of birth was not in the public domain then there would need to be a discussion of whether there was a need for the data to be included in order to correctly identify the person referred to. In your case I would argue that correctly identifying the person who is banned requires that the Date of Birth be included so as to not ban any other Anthony Treacher.

Further in the courts you would be arguing distress, caused not by the article but by the inclusion of your date of birth. As you have youself published it there is clearly no distress related purely to the iclusion of this data.

In addition you are required by the courts to have mitigated your loss. In this case you knew that your Date of Birth was on AD and yet you did nothing to remove it, so you have clearly failed in this. You then exacervbated any "distress" by publishing it yourself!!!

For the above 4 reasons your case would fail.

No need to reply with flannel, the above are facts, based on the full information not just the half of the iformtaion as undoubtedly provided by you to the ICO in order to get the response you wanted.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:34 pm

And BigGut certainly would. Especially as BigGut never molested any young boys in the first place.
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Postby BigGut » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:58 pm

Anthony are you mentally insane? It is a genuine question.

I ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT BE COMPLAINING TO THE ICO!!!!! THey are there to deal with Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Enviromental data.

Defamation is not their remit. In addition to the other points in my previous post the date of birth that you have complained about iss not untrue. As such comparing it to untrue statements is not relevant the ONLY relevant point is the inclusion of the date of birth and as I have explained to you at length this does not contravene the act.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:38 am

BigGut. You should actually read the Data Protection Act and the mandate of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Data subjects: a data subject means the individual who is the subject of the personal data. Data subjects have a number of rights under the Act (my underlining):

1. The right to access personal data (Section 7 of the Act).
2. The right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress (Section 10).
3. The right to prevent processing for direct marketing (Section 11).
4. Rights in relation to automated decision-taking (Section 12).
5. The right to compensation for failure to comply with certain requirements (Section 13).
6. The right to rectification, blocking, erasure and destruction (Section 14).
7. The right to ask the Information Commissioner whether the Act has been contravened (Section 15).

Obviously then the Data Protection Act 1998 provides for damage or distress. Contrary to what you state BigGut, such damage or distress would of course arise from an action that is "negative", prejudicial to the complainant or plaintiff. For instance Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones v. Hello! Magazine, in the Royal Courts of Justice cited the Data Protection Act 1998 - rights in relation to automated decision-taking (Section 12) above - and the plaintiffs were awarded damages.

The fact that my full date-of-birth was available on the admirable Athleticsdata rankings, or that I myself previously cited and complained about the offending notice on the Internet, does not in any way prejudice my rights - or anyone else's rights - as a data subject from complaining to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about improper use of date-of-birth.

In full possession of all the facts, BigGut, in an extensive assessment that took eight months and several iterations involving myself and BMAF Secretary Bridget Cushen (including reversal of information provided by BMAF), the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) found that the BMAF magazine Masters Athletics was likely to have contravened the Third Principal of the Data Protection Act 1998. As I stated initially, that ICO assessment will be respected in a court.
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Postby BigGut » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:05 am

2. The right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress (Section 10).

This section refers to processing data not publication of articles. The contents of the article in the magazine. The ICO are not the gaurdians of all information that is published. Maybe you should take the time to realise that for 6 years I had responsibility for ensuring DP and FOI compliance and actually do know the Act and it's uses pretty damned well.

As I have explained to you data that is already in the public domain with your consent is not covered by the Data Protection Act. the damage and distress relates again to the imporper processing of data or the provision of confidential personal data in an improper manner and without proportional reason. As explained to you already this information is not confidential as it is already in the public domain with your consent. Quotig a case which bears no relation to your own does not change this.

You have the right to complain to the ICo as does everyone. However if you inform them of the full facts, i.e. the fact your date of birth is in the public domain with your consent then you will find that their assessment of the case will alter.


I realise that your tiney egotistic brain chooses to mix up the legislation and deliberately misrepresent exmaples but the plain truth is that informationthat is in the public domain is not covered by the data protection act.
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Postby Slojo » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:00 pm

RUN!!!!!
The pedants are revolting
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:04 pm

BigGut and Slojo, sorry for not responding but I have been on holiday in N. Sweden (don't tell sleady):

1. (For the last time.) Publication is processing according to the Data Protection Act.

2. (For the last time.) An athlete does not have to opt out of anything - such as Athleticsdata or Powerof10 rankings in the public domain - to protect his or her rights in respect of publication of date-of-birth in another context.

3. ICO certainly needs to be better informed. But I am unlikely to inform ICO of any more "facts" on my case. I won an assessment against the BMAF magazine for likely breach of the Data Protection Act and that will suffice for me. ICO and myself find common ground in regarding the case as closed. I will move on and use the ICO assessment in another forum.

4. Other legislation in addition to the Data Protection Act certainly covers the offending notice in the BMAF Masters Athletics magazine. I agree entirely. But the application of other statutes in no way detracts from the application of the Data Protection Act to the offending notice. And this Topic concerns publication of full-date-of-birth.

As to 4 above, if anybody wants to evaluate the actual BMAF Masters Athletics magazine notice featuring my full date-of-birth and the context, send me an e-mail and I will send you the jpg image.
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Postby sleady » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:51 pm

And consequently get prosecuted for copyright infringement?
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Postby BigGut » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:20 pm

Anthony,

You are clearly choosing to ignore the truth, go waste your money in court but until you get a court order shut the hell up.

Publication of data that is already in the public domain with your consent is not processing of data in terms of the act.

You have not "WON" anything you have an assesment based on less than the full truth which you are touting as some sort of legal decision. Take it to court, have full disclosure and lose your house being proved wrong if that is what you want to do.

I see you are not going to gice the ICO permission to discuss the case with me, what a surprise you would rather go on libing in your self constructed fantasy land than deal wit hte truth.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:55 pm

"Lose your house being proved wrong" - BigGut, you must be joking. You seem obsessed with putting people down. What is your problem?

Readers, keep your eyes on the ball.

If an editor publishes a notice about you that is incorrect, breaks the law because it includes full date-of-birth and causes you damage and distress, you certainly have a case in law.

You must first attempt an accommodation with the editor. So immediately request "fair opportunity to reply" and an undertaking to desist. In my case the Masters Athletics magazine editor, that creature of the British Masters Athletics Federation (BMAF), will be aware of the accommodation that I have always sought with the BMAF. If not the BMAF Secretary can enlighten him.

If the editor refuses, or ignores you, you can initiate court proceedings. As an alternative to the courts, you could pursue various avenues for mediation, known as Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) that are available for a fee.

The courts exist for good reason. They are there for you. The UK Small Claims Track is geared to the man in the street. It is reasonable and humane. You can claim up to a max amount of £5,000 on which there are fixed costs of around £120, which are recoverable. Nobody is expected to come with a lawyer.

So don't let the appeasers and bullies like BigGut on this forum try to scare you off from taking someone to court for improper publication of full date-of-birth.
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Postby BigGut » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:16 pm

Anthony,

The notice about you was completely correct so no argument there.

Our Date of Birth is in the public domain and as such not covered by the Act so no problem there.

It really is that simple.

The true notice published cannot be argued to have caused you distress since it is merely a factual report of your banning.

The publication of your Date of Birth cannot be deemed to have cause you distress IN ITSELF since you are entirely aware that it is published already to the world at large and have yourself further published it to the world at large.

I am not bullying anyone Anthony I am trying to educate you in the truth.

If you are taking a case for the publication producing something untrue which has caused you damege that is libel law and should be heard in the High Court. You cannot seek legal aid for such a case and you would sure as hell lose your house pursuing a fruitless case if you took this option for th reasons detailed above.

Your argument that it is publisehed alongside a negative, but entirely factually correct, article is not amatter for the Data protection Act.
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Postby Anthony Treacher » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:32 pm

Give it a rest BigGut. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have made their assessment that the notice in the BMAF Masters Athletics magazine is likely to have contravened the Data Protection Act 1998. They know the law better than you do. Finito.

BigGut, I have never stated that the publication of my full date-of-birth IN ITSELF caused me distress. The problem is date-of-birth in a negative context and you know that.

You BigGut say that the notice in Masters Athletics magazine was "entirely factually correct." It was not - particularly not to satisfy a court of law.

(Here let's leave aside that the "serious infringements of Rules for Competition 1(k), 22 (3)" translates simply to "Bringing the sport into disrepute." I did nothing wrong at any competition. I publicised on the Internet the proven rules infringements and verbal abuse of the BMAF's own Team Manager. I was suspended for protesting at lies and for telling the truth.)

"Entirely factually correct" 1?: "It has been brought to our attention that he has been trying to enter competitions under his Swedish club."

Yes of course. As a member of an IAAF-affiliated Swedish club (and a British club) I was and am free to enter open competitions under IAAF-rules in Sweden and abroad. At no time did I knowingly enter competitions "under the auspices of BMAF" according to the terms of my BMAF ban. In no way did I hide the fact of my BMAF ban from masters competitions from any organiser in Sweden, the UK, Canada or the US.

Competition entry forms ask for your first claim club. My first claim club is Swedish. It was no more sinister than that.

"Entirely factually correct" 2?: "We would draw your attention to UKA Rule 1(3) Ineligible to compete."

Big deal. Trouble with that is that I am also member of a UKA-affiliated club. Compare "Ineligible to compete" with the following UKA statement at the time:

"Dear Mr Treacher,

I am able to confirm that any action taken by British Masters' Federation does not affect your status or qualification to compete in events held under UK Athletics Rules.

I can't be quite as definite in my interpretation of your situation in as far as IAAF rules are concerned but my thoughts - confirmed by colleagues - are that as you are eligible to compete under UKA rules and that your national governing body has not taken any action against you or imposed any sanctions, then you will be able to compete in open competition held under IAAF rules."

You rose to the bait as usual, BigGut. The notice was incorrect on several counts. It was also completely unnecessary.
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Postby BigGut » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:43 pm

For as start you say they were factually incorrect in statong that ""It has been brought to our attention that he has been trying to enter competitions under his Swedish club." Howver in the next breath you say that you had in doen exactly that .

So just as a start your proof that it is factually incorrect is a statement which shows it is factually true.

Just to clarify, the Data Protection act will only deal with the processing of your data, since the publication of your date of birth is by your own admission not the cause of your pain and distress then you have absolutely no case and there is no need to award you anything.

As I say if you think you have a case go to court and prove it, until then stop pretending that you have a decision that proves anything has been done wrong.
Last edited by BigGut on Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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