Feeds

UK.gov considers tougher powers for ICO (again)

Still dithering

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The government has announced yet another round of deliberations on whether the Information Commissioner should get tougher powers, as part of a wider consideration of data protection legislation.

The Ministry of Justice today called for views on custodial sentences for data protection offences, a measure which the previous government announced and then abandoned twice. This latest consultation follows a threat of legal action against the UK government by the European Commission over the Information Commissioner's "insufficient powers".

Justice minister Lord McNally said UK legislation also needed to be looked at ahead of a round of negotiations for an updated EU data protection instrument, expected to begin early next year. The current Data Protection Act came into law in 1998.

"We want to gather evidence and views on whether the current data protection laws are working in light of social and technological changes since the mid-1990s," he said.

"As individuals, citizens and consumers, we have the right to know our data is properly protected, and the Government is keen to gather evidence about how helpful the existing legislation is, as well as ideas on how the current data protection regime can be improved."

The call for evidence is here, and submissions close on 6 October.

The current Information Commissioner Christopher Graham lobbied hard for sentences to be toughened last year, but was frustrated in the run-up to the election. The European Commission also said the powers of UK courts to refuse data subjects the chance to have files corrected or erased infringe rights.

As well as threatening the UK over its implementation of data protection, the European Commission has also criticised its implementation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The government remains on its final warning to tighten the law following the outcry over BT's covert trials of Phorm's behavioural advertising system. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.