Since all member states of the European Union have to respect and apply the same data protection principles, it’s always fun to keep an eye on what our close cousins are up to. DutchNews.nl reports that local privacy watchdog College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (CBP) is seeking to clarify the rules on data protection for companies and public institutions, so that the right of citizens to enjoy their privacy is better safeguarded. Says CBP chairman Jacob Kohnstamm, there is confusion as to what is, and what is not allowed, in terms of data protection because legislation on the topic is too vague.
Since 2007, the CBP has regularly fined companies and organisations that have failed to inform it that they keep files on individuals, the fine for contravening this regulation being €4,500. In June the CBP fined four hospitals for being sloppy with the personal information which they held on their databases.
It sounds as though, what with all that confusion, vagueness and hospital data spillage, the Dutch experience is very much like our own in the UK.