The freedom of information act and your trade secrets

Public bodies now have to release information they hold on you – even to your competitors – unless exemptions apply. These tips will make sure nothing confidential gets into the public domain inadvertently.

All in the public domain

If a public body has dealt with you – corresponded with you, investigated you, issued you with a licence or contracted work to you – it will have information about you. The Freedom of Information Act means anyone can ask to see that information, including your competitors, suppliers, customers and employees, unless you can claim confidentiality under one of the legal let-outs.

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