RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST
West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 14th September 2023.
Please find below a summary of our findings.
Monitoring of Social Media sites in relation to West Midlands Fire Service and or West Midlands Fire Authority
The name of the operating system used to capture data of persons, directive and or general.
And who actually conducts this monitoring task?
Grade, role, responsibilities and department?
Where does said data capture get stored?
How is such data captured?
Who has access to the data captured?
Is data captured from specific areas: WMFS say Facebook or Twitter or other social media sites?
Could you name every place that data is captured from.
Who decided the target areas or persons? And why?
Who or how is the decision of the target fire service or fire authority personnel to be monitored?
Who or how is the decision to target specific members of the public?
Is a secure password known only to authorised personnel required to access data captured?
What security is there around the data held?
WMFS Do not use an operating system or software to capture data of persons from social media
WMFS use a social media management system ‘Sprout Social’ to manage our social media platforms. The software is predominantly used to schedule social media posts across our social media platforms and identify ‘mentions’ of West Midlands Fire Service.
WMFS has several social media accounts. On a daily basis, social media is monitored by our Corporate Communications team.
Where the details of grade and role have been requested an exemption under Section 40 of the FOIA 2000 applies, as this would be personally identifiable information.
Any information captured or created during organisational business activities is stored in our organisational Office 365 environment, including SharePoint, OneDrive or Microsoft Teams.
The method of data capture would depend on the data to be captured, for example; some social media posts may have an option to capture the posts unique link address, or a ‘screenshot’ may be captures of the post.
WMFS regularly monitor activities across all social media platforms which we engage with our communities through. These include:
As publicly available platforms, any employee or member of the public could access, and capture information posted on social media.
Any information captured as part of routine management of WMFS social media would be stored in an access controlled O365 environment.
Where members of the public engage with us via social media, WMFS will review data posted by members of the public. This may be identified by members of the public commenting on our social media pages, ‘tagging’ WMFS accounts, using WMFS related ‘hashtags’ or otherwise ‘mentioning’ the service.
Where content is identified that may require investigation, for example a complaint, offensive content, or content which may be critical of, or potentially damaging to or defamatory of WMFS or an individual, WMFS have a legitimate interest to process this data.
This means that we may need to capture the content posted in a public domain, keep an accurate record of it and investigate the content further.
If you have any queries about this freedom of information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW.
Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.