Thursday, July 12, 2007

Business leaders oppose ICO's proposed incentives to protect privacy

From the Guardian:Watchdog seeks an end to 'horror' of personal data security leaks

"But the CBI said enhanced powers to investigate alleged breaches of the data protection rules would have wider implications. "The nature of business is changing dramatically, so the way companies handle customer data is increasingly important," said the employers' body spokesman Jeremy Beale. "Some firms need to improve their data policies but there are no easy answers or silver bullets and the CBI wants a national debate to help identify where the responsibility for different aspects of data protection lies. By calling for the ability to inspect firms' files without consent, the information commissioner is in danger of leading businesses into the very surveillance society he is heeding against."

Mr Thomas said this year he was concerned that the vast amount of data being collected on individuals meant we were sleep-walking into a surveillance society. He said he lacked greater powers only because when the government translated the EU data protection directive into law it left out crucial elements. "The EU wants the government to give us the powers. Our experience tells us we need the powers," he said.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for overseeing the Information Commissioner's office. Yesterday it said: "We believe that the Information Commissioner already has adequate powers.""

Nice to see he has the support of government and business in his quest to get people to take data protection seriously, isn't it.

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