Feeds

EU damns scanners, Facebook, MySpace and Phorm

Not keen on SWIFT either

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.”®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
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
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'
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?