“Too important to be left to data protection specialists”: verdict on DP Directive is out

Claire Walker

“Too important to be left to data protection specialists talking to each other”: that was the verdict of the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas on future reform of data protection legislation, as he announced publication this week of a major report on the strengths and weaknesses of the ageing Directive 95/46/EC.

The 100 page review was produced by research organisation RAND Europe on behalf of the Information Commissioner’s Office, to inform and stimulate debate about future reform of the legislation to make it fit for the globalised, networked world of the 21st Century.

It will not surprise Datonomy readers to know that the following bugbears feature among the weaknesses identified in the report:
the concept of “personal data” and its relationship to real privacy risks;
rules and mechanisms for international data transfers; and
the processor/ controller distinction.

Datonomy will be lugging the 100 page tome home for a spot of light weekend reading, and will report in more detail anon. For those in a hurry to know more, there is a 14 page executive summary on the ICO’s website.

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