The third edition of Peter Carey’s Data Protection: a Practical Guide to UK and EU Law has now been published by Oxford University Press. The author is a leading figure on the data protection scene: a Visiting Professor at the College of Law, holds consultancies with PDP and London law firm Charles Russell. He advises on compliance with UK and EU data protection law and also provides expert advice in all fields of data protection law.

The publishers have this to say about the third edition:

“…this invaluable handbook offers practical solutions to issues arising in relation to data protection law. It is fully updated and expanded to include coverage of all of the significant developments in the practice of data protection, and takes account of the wealth of guidance published by the Information Commissioner since the last edition.

The third edition includes new material on the changes to the Commissioner’s powers and new guidance from the Commissioner’s office, coverage of new cases on peripheral aspects of data protection compliance and examples of enforcement, the new code on CCTV processing, the new employment code, clarification on the definition of “personal data”, the binding corporate rules on the exemption to the export data ban and the new ICT set of model contractual provisions for data exports, and the proposed action by the EU against the UK for failing to implement the Data Protection Directive appropriately. There are new chapters on terminology and data security”.

As one might expect from an author who combines immense experience of the subject with a natural ability to communicate it, this book really is a practical guide, being a good deal more readable than the legislation that underlies it. The boxed text encapsulating key provisions and flow charts for action also suggests that the selection of features for this treatment is the result of having been asked to explain the subject matter enough times to know with precision what readers want. Case law is referred to sparingly and sensibly, to guide and advise the reader rather than to confuse him. And where the law is confused or unclear, the author says so. 

On the downside, this book is a lot less long than it seems since, while the preliminaries, text and index combine to around 600 pages, the author’s contribution is concentrated into just 234 pages — most of the rest of the book consisting of appendices which contain the relevant European and UK legislation, the US Safe Harbor Principles and lists of addresses and contact details of various data protection authorities and useful bodies. While this tree-loving reviewer does not in general approve of voluminous appendices containing materials that (i) many readers are likely to have at least once copy of and (ii) that are freely available on the internet, he feels inclined to forgive the publishers this time since they have at least managed to keep the book pretty affordable and he suspects that many of the book’s intended readers — businessmen and administrators with neither the time nor the inclination to surf the web for eg the Information  Tribunal (Enforcement Appeals) (Amendment) Rules 2002 — may even benefit from their presence here.

Bibliographic details: paperback, xlvii + 529 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-956354-8. Price: £75. Publisher’s web page for this book here.

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