FOIMan explains how he looks after your personal data.

There aren’t many reasons why I need to collect or use personal data (information that can be used to identify you), but there are a few which are listed below. Data protection laws require me to have a lawful basis – a legal justification – to use your data, and to let you know how long it will be kept for amongst other things. Most of the time the people I deal with are representatives of a public authority or business so it is rare that I handle personal data relating to a person’s home or personal life.

Click here to find out what cookies are set by the FOIMan website

Who I am

This website was created by Paul Gibbons. I am based in London in the UK. You can find out more about me elsewhere on this site.

When I collect data

you provide your email address so that you can receive email alerts when my blogposts are published. My lawful basis for this is your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time and your email address will not be retained.
your IP address is collected by my webhost, 34sp. My lawful basis for doing so is that it is necessary for the purpose of my legitimate interest in securing my website (the IP address would be used to investigate and prevent attacks on the site). Your rights are unlikely to be adversely affected as the data will only be used to identify you if you are attacking my site – which hopefully you are not planning to do! The IP address is retained for 1 month after your visit.

Storage and security

The FOIMan website and blog is hosted by 34sp ( who also are my email provider. Their servers are in the UK and I am assured that they provide appropriate levels of security.

Otherwise data is stored on my own devices (regularly backed up of course) and is not made available to third parties. Unless I am legally obliged to disclose personal data (for example, HMRC want to audit my accounts), I will not share your personal data with third parties without your agreement.

Your rights

I have no wish to use your data in a way that you would not approve of. In any case, you have rights in law as set out below, subject to some exceptions:

  • to request a copy of information held about you
  • to have inaccurate data corrected
  • to have data about you erased
  • to place a restriction on the processing of your data
  • to object to me processing your data
  • to request that your data is transferred on (data portability).

Should you wish to exercise any of these rights, or have any concerns about my use of your data, please contact me. If this means that I am unable to provide a service you have requested I will let you know. If you are dissatisfied with my response, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office via their website. Their other contact details are as follows:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745

Fax: 01625 524 510

I am registered with the Information Commissioner and you can consult my entry at (registration number ZA071135).


Cookies are small computer files placed on devices by websites. I’ve tried hard to limit their use on this website. For example, I no longer collect statistics that rely on cookies, and I have also turned off comments on the FOIMan website (in practice very few people chose to respond to blogposts this way anyway). Here are the remaining circumstances in which cookies are set.

  • a cookie that records whether you have seen the cookie message (cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary)
  • a cookie that checks whether essential cookies are in place (wordpress_test_cookie).

In addition to the cookies set for all FOIMan website visitors, the following additional cookies will be set:
  • a cookie that stores authentication details on login (wordpress_[hash])
  • a cookie that is used to indicate when you are logged in, and who you are (wordpress_logged_in_[hash])
  • a cookie that is used to customise the view of your admin interface and the front-end of the website (wp-settings-{time}-[UID]).

These cookies are necessary for the functioning of WordPress (which is the solution used to create the FOIMan site). You can block them using the settings in your browser, but this may affect the functioning of the FOIMan site or your own use of WordPress.

I can’t guarantee that other sites linked to from the FOIMan site won’t use cookies so make sure that you check any privacy or cookie notices on linked sites if this concerns you.

This page was last updated on 2 January 2024.

Files on shelf image: © Can Stock Photo / viperagp