back to article Don't wait to obey European data laws

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has welcomed the European Commission's move to strengthen privacy and data protection. The reform process is in its early stages, but the EDPS said the timing was good because Europe needed strong and effective protection to match changing technology. Peter Hustinx, the EDPS, …


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  1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Tip of the iceberg

    "The British government is already on its way to court for failing to obey data protection law by allowing BT to secretly trial Phorm's snooping technology without informing customers."

    Probably the first in a very, very long catalogue I can imagine!

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Oh I HOPE so

      I just wish the court was able to hand out custodial sentences for such crimes

    2. Tempest

      Given the recent changes, shouldn't it be the Former Labour Government?

      I think it is important to differentiate between the different British Government regimes as they have different takes on privacy, etc.

      The Blair/Blunkett/Brown triumvirate was for databasing everything, slapping GPS on the wrists/ankles of the mildest of deviants, giving Plod unheard of powers - in addition to those 'acquired' unofficially by ACPO (whilst enriching their little fiefdom monetarily), wanting to capture little Johnie's or Marie's advancement through life from a very young age, locking up people who decided to use passwords to secure their data and refusing to give it to Plod, fingerprinting and collecting all manner of personal data to include on their I.D. schemes, breaching civil rights with respect to DNA retention, etc.

      To it's credit (and I didn't vote for either) the bilateral entity that presently rules supreme has demonstrated a willingness to disassemble some of the triumvirates extreme measures which has earned them deserved kudos.

      Blair/Brown put the UK into Euro court as they decided it would be handy to have yet another database, albeit constructed by BT.

      This fetish for databasing is destroying civil society and needs limits on it's ever expanding remit.

  2. JaitcH

    European Data Protection Supervisor: What a misnomer!

    Given the way that Euro data is handed over to the USA and Israel, this guy has, IMO, failed miserably.

    Neither the USA or Israel can be trusted, the US no longer even honours it's own Constitution so why would it honour anything else? (I hold a US passport and the word 'Constitution', along with the word 'flag', are repeated like a mantra in many levels of government and education;)

    Canada, when it designed it's database structures, separated content so that someone with access to one database cannot go poking around another without authorisation. For instance, Plod can't go trolling through medical records or tax data.)

    The UK's government database, on the other hand, was designed to centralise data and make much it accessible to people who haven't. or shouldn't, have access to many things as has been seen in the recent past.

    And to all those Doubting Thomas', look back in history and see what Hitler did with German and French data - and that was all paper based.

    Lexis-Nexis runs a database whose contents would amaze many, perhaps the word should be scare or concern, for an experienced researcher can gather up certain data and draw a pretty accurate picture. A while ago a character I was discussing a matter with suggested that the InterNet provided a lot of 'shielding'.

    Within 10 minutes of research I had his name, address and employers name together with remuneration (I had access to Canadian credit bureau records at that time) and I was located ten of thousands of miles away from him.

    So take a great deal of interest in your data, and ask why people want something, and make sure you let your elected officials know what concerns you, reminding them their number comes up every 3,4 or 5 years.

    P.S. If you make any sort of claim against private paid medical insurance, and some countries public paid medical insurance, you should know that data is stored in a 'credit bureau' type structure and (life) insurers pay to access that data. So don't go 'forgetting' health details on insurance applications!

  3. Sam Therapy

    British Gvt don't give a damn

    Since they blithely ignore rulings on DNA retention amongst other things, what makes anyone think they'll take a scrap of notice about this?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    The Euro court will

    Fine the UK taxpayers millions, but BT and Phorm will get off scot about we make BT pay the fines on the UK taxpayers behalf?

  5. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    Hope then.

    Well it might make some sphincters tighten for a moment in Whitehall. Best we can hope for from the ruling scum. Sorry I mean classes.

  6. Harry

    "how about we make BT pay the fines on the UK taxpayers behalf?"

    That seems like a *VERY* good idea.

    As consumers, we get the choice whether we use BT or some other telco, so if BT's prices have to be pushed up to pay for BT's alleged involvement in an activity that certainly ought to be criminally punished, then its better-behaved competitors will reap the benefit -- which is precisely how it *needs* to be.

    Just make sure the *whole* of the fine is levied on BT retail (or, better still, on the BT directors personally) and that the wholesale arm isn't allowed to increase its prices in any way.

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