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Better EU Data Protection

European Commission has signalled its intention to reform the 1995 Data Protection Directive. All EU countries are obliged to comply with the directive – the Data Protection Act 1995 is the UK’s version – and thus any reform will have inevitable consequences for domestic data protection law.

The latest announcement, following a meeting between the EU Justice Commissioner and Germany’s Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, is available here:
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/762&type=HTML

The key points are:

  • Proposal to be published by end January 2012.
  • Europeans will see their data even more strongly protected.
  • Social Networks such as Facebook and Twitter will be subject to the law even if they based outside the EU and store their data ‘in the cloud’.
  • Greater rights and  powers for data subjects, particularly with regard to gaining explicit consent and their rights to delete data.
  • Companies with European customers will be subject to EU data protection laws.

While it is a little difficult to give any firm predictions about what this will mean for DMU, or when these changes might trickle down into UK Law it seems certain that there is likely to be even more obligations placed upon the University to handle data correctly (and this is welcomed) and more rights for the students, staff and research subjects who make up most of our data subjects.

Posted in Data Protection Act.

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