PL&B UK E-news, Issue 39
- Private sector access to public sector information
- Northern Irish data protection scam
- Assurances given over Jersey’s population register scheme
- Publication of new guide to freedom of information law in Scotland
1. Private sector access to public sector information
The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 has now come into force. The regulations are designed to free up public sector information so that private sector companies can use it. They are also intended to make it easier for companies to find out what information is available for re-use, and to ensure that they get access to the information on fair terms.
The regulations implement a European directive, intended to stimulate the development of value-added products across Europe.
2. Northern Irish data protection scam
The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a warning to businesses in Northern Ireland, which were being targeted by bogus agencies demanding large sums of money to register under the Data Protection Act 1998. The official-looking letters requested sums of up to £135.
If businesses are unsure about letters requesting payment in relation to the Data Protection Act, the Information Commissioner’s office can offer guidance.
3. Assurances given over Jersey’s population register scheme
Jersey’s government has proposed an island-wide population register in an attempt to regulate immigration. All individuals will be required to register their information on a centralised database and possibly be required to have some form of identity card.
“Whilst it is clearly important for government to work proactively towards increased efficiency and effectiveness, it is vital that the privacy implications of such projects are fully understood and sensibly debated,” said Emma Martins, the Data Protection Registrar, “I am pleased that assurances have been given in respect of a full privacy audit.”
4. Publication of new guide to freedom of information law in Scotland
The Scottish Consumer Council and The Scottish Information Commissioner have worked in partnership in order to produce Your Right to Know, a practical guide that informs people about their new rights to information in Scotland.
The guide was widely distributed to Scottish public authorities, advice agencies and others, and has had to be reprinted due to overwhelming demand.
A copy can be downloaded from www.scotconsumer.org.uk
Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2005