On Wednesday I attended the first morning of this year’s conference of BILETA (the British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association) which was held at the University of Winchester. One of the parallel sessions, Privacy I, featured three papers that were of great interest to anyone concerned with data protection. They were
* “The end of the purpose-specification principle in data protection?” by Joseph A. Cannataci and Jeanne Pia Mufsud Bonnici from the University of Malta. This paper reviews, among other things, the manifestation of the principle of “let’s collect the data first, then think what we can do with it” and the current state of debate;* “The European debate on IP addresses — using a hammer to drive a screw?” by the Leuven-based team of Eleni Kosta, Lexi Pimenidis and Jos Dumortier; this paper follows the various strands of official reasoning that lead to the conclusions that IP addresses are always, sometimes or never to be regarded as personal data and asks whether they should be dealt with under the current provisions or as a sui generis phenomenon;* “You’ll never talk alone: government surveillance of new forms of communication” by Judith Rauhofer, a Research Fellow in Law, Information and Converging Technologies at the University of Lancaster. Judith is also the author of an excellent piece, ‘Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not after you: legislative developments in relation to the mandatory retention of communications data in the UK and the European Union’ which was published in (2006) SCRIPT-ed, Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 3 Issue 4, at pp. 322-343.
In each case I was most impressed with the quality of the analysis and the clarity of presentation. Datonomy will let you know publication details of these papers once they are available.