Feeds

Ex-ICO: Draft EU privacy rules will turn every citizen 'into a liar'

Current commish: Data protection reforms must target crooks, not biz

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Britain's Information Commissioner wants the force of the European Data Protection Directive to fall on rogues, not on businesses which already face mountains of paperwork. That's the message that Chris Graham will be taking to Europe when he goes there to hash out a compromise on the new European Data Protection Directive sometime before July.

Speaking at an event on Data Protection Day, Christopher Graham said that the EU's draft Data Protection Directive needed to focus on the risks that came from data management rogues, rather than chasing overburdened businesses to complete more paperwork.

"We want it defined in terms of outcomes rather than regulatory process," said Graham.

It's not going to work if we try and specify everything in the document. It should focus more on the risks and abuses and less on the average business.

Graham's predecessor in the job, Richard Thomas, was more blunt. Also speaking at the Data Protection Day event, he said that that the EU directive "should be taken back to the drawing board".

He said the EU needed to put "far less burden on the individuals" and commented that the directive would make liars of everyone:

With the current directive we are trying to turn every EU citizen into a continent of liars. We're asking people to tick boxes saying 'I have read everything' and they won't have.

The comments from the Information Commissioners - past and present - were in line with the UK ICO's latest published position on the new EU directive, published 22 January:

The current proposal is too prescriptive in terms of its administrative detail and the processes organisations will have to undertake to demonstrate accountability. This could be a particular problem for SMEs.

The preliminary response from the ICO also states that the EU's proposed "right to be forgotten" data protection reforms could lead citizens to expect a degree of protection that cannot be delivered in practice. The ICO warns that the EU must be realistic about the limited power EU data protection authorities may have over non- EU data controllers.

Underlining that point was a scathing attack on the reforms by a US diplomat at a Berlin conference last week.

John Rodgers, economic Officer in the US Foreign Service, warned taht the introduction of planned changes to EU data protection laws could herald a trans-Atlantic "trade war".

The European data protection authorities hope to produce a working document by July 2013. The first stakeholders' meeting is in May. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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 ...'
'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
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
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.