Here's a fairly hefty post on the the eco-system that exists around personal data.

The post acts as the introduction to a new working group on 'Volunteered Personal Information' at The Kantara Initiative.
This group plans to develop and deploy open technical standards around the concept of the personal data store - a VRM concept designed to build information management capabilities on the side of the individual.
Inside Costa Rica reports that the Central American republic plans to introduce a Law on Data Protection (official title: "the Law on Individual's Protection against Personal Data Treatment"). Unsurprisingly the future Law is said to seek to ensure the respect of every physical and legal person's fundamental rights, specifically th right to self determination of disclosure on personal or business life and other personal rights, regardless of nationality or residence. The Law will also ensure the protection of freedom and equality regarding both automatic and manual treatment of data belonging to them.

Legal definitions are to be provided for terms such as "personal data", "legal entity data" and "sensitive data", among other things. The new Law's basic principles are planned to serve as "the backbone to Data Protection in the country", embracing a right to information on data gathering, the concerned party's consent, … Continue Reading ››
If you're in Central London this afternoon and aren't in a pressing hurry to get back to watch the Wimbledon tennis, "Privacy After Hours" awaits your pleasure. It's a great chance to have a pleasant drink and do some networking with fellow enthusiasts -- and to make the personal acquaintance of Professor Daniel J. Solove, author of The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet and The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy In the Information Age.

Details here.
What follows is a passage from the chapter on Informational Privacy in The Value of Privacy by Beate Roessler. The author has been exploring the relation between autonomy (self determination) and the disclosure of personal information, in the sense of being able to control what significant (and identified) other people know about oneself, and how that might affect the behaviour and self presentation of an autonomous person. She then goes on to explore the same issues in relation to privacy and unspecified others, in the Bentham/Foucault Panoptic society:

“The fundamental point here is that the new information technologies may be problematic on the one hand because people are as it were being “de-privatised” against their will and the protection of privacy is in jeopardy, and on the other hand people are becoming more and more willing of their own accord to … Continue Reading ››
The highly-publicised 118 800 is "The only directory with millions of mobile numbers" in the United Kingdom, and it is not very popular with those users of mobile phones who appreciate the degree of control over their numbers which the absence of a directory has hitherto given them.

If you wish to remove your number from the directory you can do so by following the instructions on the "remove me" page. Don't expect a smooth ride, though. Apart from keying in your mobile number, you also have to key in a set of figures which, buried in an image, this user found almost impossible to read (what happens to partially-sighted mobile phone users, one wonders?). Eventually, having part-read and part-guessed a set of characters that corresponded to the greyish blobs on-screen, I was rewarded with … Continue Reading ››
A new bill concerning the regulation of direct marketing was submitted to the Italian Deputies’ Chamber on May, 27 2009. The current regulation on the relevant matter, which is provided within the Data Protection Code (D. lgs. 196/2003), is based on the “opt-in” principle, according to which it is forbidden to carry out any direct marketing initiatives without the prior explicit user’s consent. Such rigid “opt–in” system causes huge problems either to users and to undertakings: users continue to receive unsolicited marketing communications, while businesses are stuck as they have difficulties in proving that consent has been given lawfully. The new bill, according to EC Directives 95/46 and 2002/58, which left to Member States the freedom to choose either the “opt–in” or the “opt–out” systems, amends the Data Protection Code and provides for an “opt–out” principle based on the … Continue Reading ››
The EU Telecoms Ministers decided on Friday that they would not submit to pressure from Parliament to include measures relating to unlawful internet use in the 'Telecoms Package' which has been undergoing review for some time. This means the entire package will continue to 'conciliation' between the Parliament and Member States and such negotiation talks aren't likely to commence until the first half of September.

The Telecoms Package of course contains a wide range of issues. Datonomy has discussed at length on this post previously some of the proposals surrounding notification of breaches but there are some other less publicised changes to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive which could have major implications for the industry.

In particular, there is a proposal to amend the current provisions relating to cookies and other devices. This amendment would … Continue Reading ››