Government handling of personal data: taking stock

Jeremy Phillips

In Taking stock, taking action: the ICO position on the Government Data Handling Reviews, the UK’s Information Commissioner Richard Thomas (left) gave his response to recent reports on the handling of personal information, in particular the government-commissioned data-sharing review of July 2008. In this 24-page report the Commissioner supports the proposals (i) to provide for a new power, by Order for the Secretary of State, to remove or modify legal barriers to data-sharing in specific cases, and (ii) to create safe havens for research accompanied by an accreditation system. Although the 2008 Review stopped short of recommending a mandatory requirement to notify data breaches, the Commissioner recognises the benefit of a limited form of statutory notification.

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