Feeds

Must do Better – EC data protection report

'Not at an acceptable level'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

The European Commission has recently published its first report on the implementation of the Data Protection Directive (EC/95/46) by Member states, writes John MacGowan of Bloor Research.
Unsurprisingly, the Commission concludes that the Directive does not require any modification or updating - it was how it was interpreted [by the individual Member states] that created difficulties!

The major area requiring improvement is, to quote, "the levels of compliance, enforcement and awareness are not at an acceptable level"; but there is no definition of what is deemed "acceptable".

Certainly the average citizen is unaware of their rights as a data subject; unless, perhaps he or she has failed a credit application and consequently taken a credit reference agency to task if they supplied erroneous information to the potential lender.

Of more concern is the potential misuse of medical information which could have more serious, far reaching, consequences. "Know your rights" is a mantra worth adopting.

The Commission would like to see a greater number of "Codes of Conduct" published, especially in the context of data held by employers and the disciplines to be imposed on employees. Eventually leading, no doubt, to the establishment of a European wide agreement backed by legislation - is the Prime Minister aware?

Under the intention to promote the documenting of a broader range of recommended best practices, the Commission is keen to instigate EU level investigations as a method of enforcement. Sort out the anomalies first, please. On the same subject, it was recognised that most supervisory authorities (in our case the Information Commissioner) have insufficient resources and is a serious situation that handicaps effective policing through "lack of teeth". Such comments give the engineering expression "suck it and see" a new meaning.

Greater adoption of the use of PETS is proposed (Privacy Enhancing Technologies, that is) with a certification scheme for accredited tools which effectively depersonalise data records being recommended. Yes, there is a stipulation that historical, scientific and research data may be reconstituted - but additional safeguards may be imposed and beware if you contravene your, previously supplied, 'notification' or 'processing' classifications.

The processing of sound and image data gets a mention, with special emphasis on video surveillance data. It was a live broadcast on the internet from a pub in Sweden, that led to their regulator imposing the rule that all customers had to give express consent prior to their faces being televised and that no backup tapes were allowed.

In other countries, the retention of a supermarket's CCTV data - unless required as evidence in criminal proceedings - requires the customer's consent. The Commission fear that multimedia techniques and processes will outstrip the legal texts and render them unenforceable.

Finally, recommended action on a number of issues such as a wider use of exemptions from notification, simplification of the rules governing the transfer of data outside the EU, and making data controllers less bound to respond to access requests in cases of exceptional effort/costs incurred are welcomed. What fun awaits those countries now seeking membership.

© IT-Analysis.com

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.