Secrecy, Privacy and Accountability: Challenges for Social Research

Book by Mike Sheaff: “Public mistrust of those in authority and failings of public organisations frame disputes over attribution of responsibility between individuals and systems. Exemplified with examples, including the Aberfan disaster, the death of Baby P, and Mid Staffs Hospital, this book explores parallel conflicts over access to information and privacy.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows access to information about public organisations but can be in conflict with the Data Protection Act, protecting personal information. Exploring the use of the FOIA as a research tool, Sheaff offers a unique contribution to the development of sociological research methods, and debates connected to privacy and secrecy in the information age. This book will provide sociologists and social scientists with a fresh perspective on contemporary issues of power and control….(More)”.