Feeds

UK data protection laws are 'chaotic'

DPA terms 'must be tightened'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Government has acknowledged that much work needs to be done to improve UK data protection laws, according to a new report.

The report, by law firm Rowe Cohen, claims the Government's Data Protection Working Party has agreed that the terms of the Data Protection Act must be tightened in order to punish people who break the law. Problems such as a perceived low risk of getting caught, public ignorance over individual rights as well as a lack of enforcement by authorities, are causing many industry insiders to brand the current data protection system as 'chaotic'.

Data protection scams have been commonplace over recent months. These include fraudsters who pursued companies to register their details with them - with a subscription fee of £111- in order to escape data protection penalties.

A host of businesses, not necessarily required to register their details with officials, have been duped as a result, leading to calls that clearer guidance on the Data Protection Act (DPA) is needed.

Stewart Room, head of date protection at law firm Rowe Cohen, said: "Without an urgent improvement, businesses and individuals will continue to suffer uncertainty, ambiguity and mixed messages about the DPA.

"The DPA allows discretion amongst EU member states and this inevitably results in disparities between countries. This is compounded by the fact that national data protection laws across the EU vary - particularly where they concern enforcement.

"But this is only part of the picture. Major funding problems mean that resources are stretched and compromises have to be made."

The group believes little will be done to improve the situation over the coming months with much of the Information Commissioner's time taken up by the Freedom of Information Act.

Coming into force on 1 January 2005, the group has expressed concern that the act will have a knock-on effect for data protection compliance.

Copyright © 2004, Startups.co.uk logo

Related stories

UK.biz in the dark over broadband jargon
UK.biz at ease with data protection
Government FOI Act chief trails Data Act 'reform'

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
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
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.