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Data Protection Leader

Volume: 5 Issue: 8
(August 2008)


The Council of Europe (CoE) has decided to actively invite non-European countries to accede to its Convention on Personal Data, which allows non-European countries to freely exchange data with the 20 signatories to the Convention that are not European Union Member States. / read more

Data Protection Law & Policy and DataGuidance are organising an International Data Transfers Briefing on Friday 24 October at the London offices of data protection specialists, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP.

The Briefing will examine the new alternative set of controller to processor model clauses, due for publication by the Article 29 Working Party at the end of September, plus the latest information from the Working Party on Binding Corporate Rules. / read more

Thirty-three internet companies have defended their privacy policies in response to a 1 August letter sent by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which is launching an inquiry into privacy concerns raised by behavioural advertising. / read more


Data security has become a bit of an obsession. There is a lot of panicking going on at the moment, but not much clear thinking in terms of what is required to avoid and survive data security breaches. So it is kind of helpful - if not vital - to stop for a second and focus on getting the essentials right. Someone that has recently had a go at doing that is Bruce Schneier. For those who are not familiar with cyber security gurus, Schneier is telecommunications company BT's chief security technology officer. He can also be credited with writing serious books about information security that even lawyers can read. In a recent commentary published in Wired magazine, Schneier takes the bold step of giving the next President of the USA, whoever he is (as he puts it), some free advice for improving information security in our society. / read more

In order to create a legal basis for secret surveillance, the Swedish Parliament adopted the so-called FRA Act on 18 June of this year. The Act not only affects Swedes, but also British citizens and citizens of other countries. As of 1 January 2009, all electronic communication that crosses Sweden's borders will pass through the computers of the Swedish Defence Radio Establishment (FRA). Messages containing certain words or combinations of words will automatically be caught by the system and will be read by FRA employees, irrespective of the nationality of those sending or receiving the message. Also, the FRA Act does not differentiate between information regarding potential terrorist threats, confidential business matters or strictly private communication. / read more

The Swedish Parliament has passed the Signal Surveillance Act, which allows the National Defence Radio Establishment to monitor all communications. Charlotte Ingvar-Nilsson, Senior Counsel at Bird & Bird, examines the details of the Act, privacy concerns about its provisions, challenges to the Act and their likelihood of success. / read more

Behavioural advertising, which tracks the online behaviour of customers online in order to deliver targeted advertising to them, has raised privacy concerns. Lindsey L. Tonsager and David B. Schwartz, of Covington & Burling LLP, examine how state and federal proposals plan to address these concerns. / read more

On 4 June, an Argentinian code from 1853 dealing with the infringement of mail was amended to include forms of electronic communication. Julieta Bontempi and Maximiliano D'Auro, of Estudio Beccar Varela, assess the implications of this amendment for personal electronic communications and communications in the workplace. / read more

Following Mr Michael Collie's request to the Common Services Agency (CSA) for specific medical information, the House of Lords was forced to come to a conclusion on whether 'barnardised' data falls under the UK's definition of 'personal data' and if so, whether that data could be used to identify the subjects concerned by either the holder - or recipient of - such data. Grant S. Campbell, a Partner at Brodies, examines their Lordships' decision and its implications. / read more

Mike Bradford, Director of Regulatory and Consumer Affairs at Experian, addressed an audience of approaching 200 at the Westminster eForum in London on 3 July. Bradford set the scene by reminding the audience of what the then Information Commissioner, Elizabeth France, said in her 2001 annual report: 'There should be nothing in the Data Protection Act which prevents the achievement of a legitimate business objective. What it does is ensure that the objective is met in a way which respects the rights of the individual whose data are being processed'. / read more

The Poynter Report, published 25 June, explores the loss of the personal details of millions of families by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) last year. Ruth Boardman, a Partner at Bird & Bird, examines the findings of the report and the remedial action recommended for HMRC. / read more

About Data Protection Leader:

The monthly law publication which covers all aspects of data protection and data privacy. Topics covered include data transfers and outsourcing, data localisation and retention, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the e-Privacy Directive, data security, marketing and behavioural advertising, consent, employee monitoring, privacy compliance, risk management, DPO responsibilities, accountability, Privacy by Design, acquisition and mergers, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and Big Data / read more

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