ICO blog: Lockdown Files will help us learn from the experience of Covid

Mar 6th '23

Following the Daily Telegraph’s reporting of leaked WhatsApp messages sent by Ministers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Information Commissioner John Edwards set out his views on the importance of record keeping. This piece first appeared in print in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 4 March.


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.


George Santayana, the philosopher, would have had little comprehension of WhatsApp messages, but his century-old quote feels very prescient this week.


Put simply, how are we going to learn from the experience of the pandemic if we cannot remember it? How are we going to prepare ourselves for any future virus outbreaks if we have not properly reflected on the successes and failures of our previous approach?


When the stakes are so high, we cannot rely on individuals’ recollections. We cannot rely on tranches of WhatsApp messages stored on a person’s phone.


Read the full article, here.


Source: Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)


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