Feeds

EU damns scanners, Facebook, MySpace and Phorm

Not keen on SWIFT either

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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.”®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.