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Europe flashes report card on data protection

The good, the bad and the ugly

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The European Data Protection Supervisor has had a busy year - with a wider remit to cover all EU institutions as well as helping to write a new legal framework for data protection across the European Union.

It took some unpopular positions against handing passenger name records to the US and called for stronger legal protection across Europe.

The EDPS 2010 annual report, summary here, mentions a record number of legislative opinions - 19 including against Passenger Name Records and EU counter-terror legislation.

Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said it had been a busy but very productive year. He warned that the regulator needed to increase its efforts "to ensure a more effective protection of privacy and personal data in a changing world which is increasingly global, Internet driven and dependent on the wide spread use of ICTs in all areas of life".

The supervisor said the coming year would include more work in reviewing data protection and retention laws, continued examination of large-scale data exchanges, and "co-ordinated supervision of large-scale IT systems".

The European Commission, we assume with advice from the EDPS, is taking legal action against the UK government for alleged failures over regulating Phorm and for lacking proper data protection laws. ®

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