UK Data Protection E-news - March 2011

  1. 17,000 student records breached
  2. Bill of Rights on the agenda
  3. Government proposals for cookie compliance by end of March
  4. DMA suspends lead generation company from membership

1. 17,000 student records breached

The University of York has disclosed personal data of nearly 17,000 students, the Yorkshire Post reported on 17 March. Students’ addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and emergency contact numbers were published on the University of York website’s student enquiry page. The university has apologised and informed the Information Commissioner.

Dr David Duncan, the University’s Registrar, said: “It has come to our attention that there has been an unauthorised breach of student records. The university has taken immediate action to rectify this problem. We are also investigating all procedures and management systems and will undertake a thorough review of our data security arrangements."

2. Bill of Rights on the agenda

An independent Commission to investigate the case for a UK Bill of Rights was launched on 18 March by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke. The group is to report no later than the end of 2012.

The Bill is part of the Coalition Agreement, which said that the ‘Bill of Rights would incorporate and build on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.’  The Commission will include eight human rights experts, mostly barristers, appointed jointly by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:

"Liberty hopes these fine minds will conclude that the Human Rights Act already provides a uniquely British Bill of Rights.”

Secretary of State Kenneth Clarke said:

“The Commission has a very important role to play in examining the operation of the European Court of Human Rights and how we implement human rights in the UK. I hope that this work will help to inform the debate on human rights at home and assist us as we continue to press for reform of the Strasbourg Court. I look forward to receiving their recommendations.”

3. Government proposals for cookie compliance by end of March

The proposals on how the UK will implement the amendments to the EU e-Privacy Directive will be published by the end of the month, Minister of State, Lord McNally, told PL&B.

Read an exclusive interview with him about the government’s future plans regarding data protection and FOI in the next issue of PL&B UK Report, to be published 21 March.

4. DMA suspends lead generation company from membership

Following an investigation into allegations of serious non-compliance by the Direct Marketing Commission (DMC), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) suspended Phruit Ltd from DMA membership in February. The Commission investigated over 100 complaints about Phruit:

  • not respecting the Telephone Preference Service, 
  • hundreds more web-based complaints, and
  • comments about the company and the activities of third party businesses making sales calls based on contact data provided by Phruit.

Read more about this topic in the next issue of PL&B UK Report.

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

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2011


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