Feeds

New EU rules force telcos to 'fess up for data breaches

Non-telcos can still lose data whenever they want

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The European Council has approved a data breach notification rule for Europe's telecoms firms. The amendment to an EU Directive will force telcos to tell customers if they lose their data.

The European Parliament and Commission have already approved the amendments, which will become law after it has been published in the EU's Official Journal and signed by the President of the Council and President of the European Parliament.

The amendments, though, do not extend data breach notification duties to non-telecoms firms, despite the Parliament's earlier demands that it include providers of 'information society services' such as online banks or health services providers.

"The Council adopted a directive amending legislation in force on universal service, ePrivacy and consumer protection," said a Council statement on its meeting last week. "The directive adapts the regulatory framework by strengthening and improving consumer protection and user rights in the electronic communications sector, facilitating access to and use of ecommunications for disabled users and enhancing the protection of individuals’ privacy and personal data."

The Parliament had lobbied hard to have the notification requirement extended to the companies that provide services on the internet and not just the ones that connect users to it, but the Commission and Council rejected those attempts.

It was backed in its call by the Article 29 Working Party, which is a committee formed by all of Europe's national data protection watchdogs.

"An extension of personal data breach notifications to Information Society Services is necessary given the ever increasing role these services play in the daily lives of European citizens, and the increasing amounts of personal data processed by these services," the Working Party said earlier this year.

"Online transactions including access to e-banking services, private sector medical records and online shopping are a few examples of services that may be subject to personal data breaches causing significant risks to a large number of European citizens," it said. "Limiting the scope of these obligations to publicly available electronic communications services would only affect a very limited number of stakeholders and thus would significantly reduce the impact of personal data breach notifications as a means to protect individuals against risks such as identity theft, financial loss, loss of business or employment opportunities and physical harm."

The European Commission last week signalled its willingness to negotiate separately on the introduction of a more general data breach notification law.

"The Commission will... extend the debate to generally applicable breach notification requirements and work on possible legislative solutions," Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said at a meeting organised by the European Data Protection Supervisor last month. "This will be done in close consultation with the European Data Protection Supervisor and other stakeholders."

Reding also committed the Commission to a general review of the laws designed to protect internet users' privacy.

"In 2010, the Commission intends to launch... a major initiative to modernise and strengthen network and information security policy in the EU," she said at that meeting. "At the same time, I believe we should look at the emerging challenges for privacy and trust in the broad information society, with a particular emphasis on some of the outstanding issues which were raised during the discussions on the revision of the ePrivacy Directive, such as targeted advertising, convergence, the use of IP addresses and on-line identifiers."

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.