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Date Responded 08 April 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

I am requesting confirmation or denial that your police force has entered recorded communications about the potential use of software or other services provided by Clearview AI a company based in the US.

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply. This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for your request.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

Unfortunately there is no way we can provide a definitive response to your request within the 18 hour threshold.  All departmental and private mailboxes, all postal systems, records of meetings and any other forms of communication would need to be reviewed to establish if any record about the potential use of software or other services provided by Clearview AI was held.  A definitive response to this cannot be achieved even for a single year period, let alone an unlimited time period as per your submission.

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