Pictometry FOIA Case Decided
The Superior Court Judicial District of New Britain, CT ruled on three consolidated Uniform Administrative Procedure Act appeals yesterday docketed as: Pictometry v. Freedom of Information Comission (FOIC) Docket No. HHBCV084019021S, Department of Environmental Protection v. FOIC, Docket No. HHBCV84019024S,, and Department of Public Works v. FOIC, Docket No. HHBCV084019025S. The plantiffs, Pictometry International Cooperation, the commissioner of the state of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the commissioner of the state of Connecticut Department of Public Works (DPW), appeal from a September 3, 2008 final decision of the defendent Freedom of Information Commission, ordering DEP to provide Stephen Whitaker, who had been granted intervennor status, with copies of Pictometry’s “images, only, without any associated metadata or software,” as described in paragraph 2.b of FOIC’s final decision The three consolidated appeals share the same records and are disposed of in this single memorandum of decision.
The court conluded that:
For all of the above stated reasons, the appeals of the plantiffs Pictometry and DEP, docketed Pictometry v. FOIC and DEP v. FOIC are dismissed.
DPW’s appeal, as to FOIC’s factual determination of the safety risk of disclosure of the images alone, without accompanying software or metatadata, is dismissed.
On a related note, came across the following 2005 opinion letter from the NY Department of State Commitee on Open Government: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/COOG/ftext/f15500.htm
For short analysis of this case, visit Kevin Pomfret’s Spatial Law blog.
Tags: Connecticut, CT, DEP, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Public Works, DPW, FOIA, FOIC, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Information Commission, HHBCV084019021S, HHBCV084019024S, HHBCV084019025S, images, Intellectual Property, metadata, National Security, New Britain, Pictometry, Software, Superior Court, Tanzer, Transparency, Whitaker
Dr. Lea Shanley is the founder and former co-Chair of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, a vibrant community of 200 federal employees from more than 35 agencies. She is also a co-founding member of the Citizen Science Association. Dr. Shanley recently served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, where she helped to foster a culture of open innovation. Prior to this, she founded and directed the Commons Lab at the Wilson Center, served in the US Senate as a Congressional Science Fellow, and worked with local and tribal communities to develop GIS-based decision support systems for city planning, natural resource management, coastal management, and disaster response through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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