PL&B UK E-news, Issue 40

25/11/2005
Tags:
  1. Information Commissioner’s Office launches new enforcement strategy
  2. Protection of personal data now ranked society’s third most important issue
  3. Meaning of “personal data” to be reviewed
  4. Celebrating 21 years of the Data Protection Act
  5. E-mail marketing guidance from the Information Commissioner

1. Information Commissioner’s Office launches new enforcement strategy

The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched a new enforcement strategy which targets organisations which persistently ignore their duties under the Data Protection Act 1998. The newly-appointed Deputy Information Commissioner, David Smith, unveiled the new strategy on November 22nd 2005. “We will be targeting the minority who cause real harm when they flout their data protection regulations,” he said. The powers of regulatory action include criminal prosecution, civil enforcement, and audit (See PL&B UK November, p.1).

2. Protection of personal data now ranked society’s third most important issue

Protecting personal information is now ranked as one of the top three issues of greatest social importance, according to research recently published by the Information Commissioner. Crime prevention and improving educational standards were viewed as the most important issues. The protection of personal data came next, ahead of the National Health Service, equal rights, freedom of speech, national security and environmental concerns. The research reveals that four out of five people are concerned or extremely concerned about the possibility of their personal data being mishandled.

For more details, see www.ico.gov.uk.

3. Meaning of “personal data” to be reviewed

The House of Lords will hear Michael Durant’s petition for appeal of the disputed Court of Appeal decision on the morning of November 29th 2005. This news comes despite a recent indication that Durant had dropped his appeal due to financial concerns (See PL&B UK Newsletter November 2005, p.4). If the House of Lords permits the appeal in this landmark case, the definition of “personal data” will be reviewed once again.

4. Celebrating 21 years of the Data Protection Act

The Information Commissioner is hosting a conference entitled “Data Protection: the next 21 years” on November 29th, in Manchester. Delegates have been invited to attend by the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas. The conference will look at what has been achieved, and will project into the future. There will be three topics for discussion groups: better compliance by data controllers; better regulation and powers for the Information Commissioner; and better remedies for individuals. PL&B’s Editorial Director, Stewart Dresner, and Associate Editor Laura Linkomies, will be attending.

5. E-mail marketing guidance from the Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner has published (November 2nd 2005) a Data Protection Good Practice Note on electronic mail marketing. It gives an overview of the rules in the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/eventual.aspx?id=7485.

For further details on the Privacy Laws & Business UK Newsletter, please click here.

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2005

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