Commission Recommendation of 13 January 2010 on the secure exchange of electronic data between Member States to check the uniqueness of driver cards that they issue was published this morning on the website of the Official Journal of the European Union. The object of this Recommendation is the TACHOnet messaging system, which enables information relating to long-distance drivers to be shared between Member States via a digital tachograph system which allocates a driver card to each driver. According to the recital to the Recommendation,
"(6) It is desirable that issuing authorities have effective processes and procedures in place to properly manage data about the issuance of tachograph cards in general, and driver cards in particular.
(7) Member State issuing authorities should be able to check quickly, and reliably exchange, information about issued driver cards, and thereby prevent … Continue Reading ››

"Rafa Benitez has this morning explained why he continues to play the rotation system. He says it’s to the keep the burglars guessing who’s at home or who’s in the team." Anon.

The ability to know where someone is at all times, or to make your own whereabouts publicly known via a social network is fraught with potential privacy issues.

This blog entry discusses the explosive growth of geo-location data and associated services powered by the widespread integration of GPS technologies into mobile phones raises privacy issues that include problems of anonymisation, consent and data sharing. The full article on which this entry was based is available to PLC subscribers here.

What do we mean by geo-location data services? These can be anything from the Tom-Tom GPS app on your mobile phone to specific services such as Whrrl and Continue Reading ››
The Guardian reports that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is today launching the London Datastore, a website hosting hundreds of sets of data, including previously unreleased information, about the capital, as part of a new scheme intended to encourage people to create "mashups" of data to boost the city's transparency and accountability.

The London Datastore will be fully open from 29 January. The UK government is reportedly working on a similar site,, which is also expected to be unveiled this month under the auspices of Tim Berners-Lee. Says the article:
Johnson has been a strong advocate of open data, having campaigned in 2008 on the promise that he would introduce crime maps, despite misgivings of some senior police officers. The Metropolitan Police did however quickly implement crime mapping in London, following the lead that … Continue Reading ››
Writing yesterday in ("Department of Transport works on body scan code of practice"), Ian Grant reported on the lack of current government plans to store body scans of air passengers, in the wake of concerns that processing and storing images could breach the privacy of individuals. The Department of Transport is quoted as saying that all images will be deleted as soon as each subject is cleared for take-off, and the department is developing a code of practice for airport operators so as to ensure passenger privacy.

Over in the USA the American Civil Liberties Union claims that the black and white scans "amount to a virtual strip search", since they reveal, among other things, the subject's genitalia and any implants. Says the UK's Department of Transport:
"There are obviously privacy issues related … Continue Reading ››