Feeds

Google's proposed global privacy standard slammed

Too vague and weak: privacy expert

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The set of rules which Google proposed as the foundation for a global privacy standard are inadequate, a privacy law expert has said. The rules are not specific enough to operate as a global standard, said the expert.

Last month Google's Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer endorsed the Privacy Framework (pdf) published by the Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) in 2005, describing it as "the most promising foundation on which to build".`

"Surely, if privacy principles can be agreed upon within the 21 APEC member economies, a similar set of principles could be applied on a global scale," wrote Peter Fleischer in the search giant's Public Policy Blog.

But privacy expert Dr Chris Pounder of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, has analysed the APEC rules and found that they are not only significantly more lax than those in operation in Europe, they are so broadly defined that they cannot operate as a standard at all.

"The framework's principles were drafted in order to get agreements between diplomats – and diplomatic agreements tend to fudge important issues," wrote Dr Pounder in his analysis. "The result is that the principles are ambiguous as to their effect and are capable of a vast number of interpretations and implementations."

That ambiguity means that even on its own terms, as a proposed basis for harmonising the privacy laws of a large number of countries, the guidelines fail because they allow too much room for countries to differ, said Pounder.

There are also specific problems with the rules, according to Pounder. "There is a requirement to establish an enforcement mechanism, but this can be very low key," he wrote. He also notes that there is no requirement to establish a Privacy Commissioner to oversee compliance.

European privacy laws say a person must be told that their data is being collected at the point of that collection. The APEC rules are more lax, though, and even allow for notice to be given after data has been collected.

"The procedures that deliver a data subject with a notice could become separate from procedures that collect personal data from a data subject," argued Pounder.

While stricter data protection regimes ban the use of collected data for purposes other than those for which it was gathered, the APEC rules allow data to be shared for "compatible or related purposes", which Pounder said gave collectors of data more room to share data.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.