PL&B International E-news, Issue 71

1. Council of Europe DP Treaty now open to non-European countries

The Council of Europe Convention on Data Protection, for the first time since it was opened for signature in 1981, is inviting non-European countries with data protection laws to sign and ratify it. The Convention’s Consultative Committee recommended “that non-member states, with data protection legislation in accordance with Convention 108, should be allowed to accede to the Convention”, and it “invited the Committee of Ministers to take note of this recommendation and to consider any subsequent accession request accordingly”. The Committee of Ministers, on 2 July 2008, “agreed to examine any accession request in the light of this recommendation” and “instructed the Secretariat to disseminate information about the Convention”.

2. EU in Negotiations with US to hand over more personal data

The EU is in negotiations with the US to agree on personal data transfers from EU companies to the US for law enforcement purposes. Companies will be able to transfer personal data to the US at the request of US law enforcement bodies in future, without respecting EU national DP laws, if negotiations continue on their current track. The US and the European Union are nearing agreement on an international instrument that would enable European data controllers to provide information, such as the credit card histories, banking details and travel habits of Europeans, to US law enforcement bodies at the request of US law enforcement. Such transfers of personal data would not be subject to data protection standards of national EU data protection authorities.

3. Japanese DP Law does not give private right of access to personal data

In one of the most important court cases in Japan to interpret the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), the Tokyo District Court on 27 June 2007 held that the law did not provide a data subject with a cause of action against a data controller who withheld the data subject’s personal information, despite the data subject’s demands for disclosure.

Full details on all these stories are in Privacy Laws & Business’s International August Newsletter, published today.

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Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2008