Feeds

EU damns scanners, Facebook, MySpace and Phorm

Not keen on SWIFT either

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, has promised tough new laws to curb privacy-breaching technology like body scanners and has also warned the social networking industry that it needs to do more to protect children using its services.

In a speech to mark Data Protection Day Reding said she was studying more than 160 responses to proposed changes to data protection law and said most favoured stronger rules.

She said there needed to be clarity as to how key principles like consent and transparency work in practice.

That data was safe no matter where the data controller was located.

There should be promotion of 'privacy by design'.

There should be stronger enforcement.

The basic principles of data protection should cover all areas of European life including police and judicial and dealings with countries outside the EU.

Reding named Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and warned that children's profiles on such sites should be private by default. She will report back on progress working with companies on 9 February.

She is also concerned about behavioural advertising - the Commission has launched an infringement procedure against the British government's response to Phorm. She said: "For me it is clear that without the prior informed consent of citizens their data cannot be used."

On body scanners - which are being rushed into British airports today in response to the pants-bomber - Reding was clear in her disapproval.

Reding said: "This leads me to body scanners. I am convinced that body scanners have a considerable privacy-invasive potential. Their usefulness is still to be proven. Their impact on health has not yet been fully assessed. Therefore I cannot imagine this privacy-intrusive technique being imposed on us without full consideration of its impact."

She was equally damning about the wholesale export of financial data to the US. She said she remained to be convinced: "that all these SWIFT transfers are necessary, proportionate and effective to fight terrorism."

She promised to look closely at the issue in the coming weeks.

Finally Reding said she wanted to ensure that: "our EU legislation and international agreements are based on evidence rather than on emotional responses to the latest scare."

The full speech is here.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: “We understand the concerns expressed about privacy in relation to the deployment of body scanners. It is vital that staff are properly trained and we are currently developing a code of practice to ensure these concerns are properly taken into account.

Existing safeguards also mean those operating scanners are separated from the device, so unable to see the person to whom the image relates, and these anonymous images are deleted immediately.”®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.