The opportunities and risks involved in exploiting consumers' personal data are the subject of much coverage at the moment. But what about the commercial potential of the vast data sets being made available by the public sector? Datonomy shares some observations.

Some of the Datonomy crew attended a Westminster eForum conference earlier in the month which had as its theme "policy priorities for user data". Datonomy was particularly interested to hear one of the speakers, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, talk about the open government data initiative. The initiative is supported by a new independent organisation which is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Open Data Institute, which the Professor chairs with Sir Tim Berners-Lee as president.

The initiative – which involves publishing anonymised government data – was announced in November 2011 by George Osbourne and can be seen as part of a general drive for transparency in government which … Continue Reading ››

Any Datonomy readers who are responsible for their organisations' annual DP notifications may wish to respond to the consultation published by the ICO today.  The deadline is 30 November and it poses the following three  questions about possible refinements to the UK system:
  • should the notification and payment process go fully online (Datonomy knows what a pain  the manual nature of the current process is);
  • should the register contain contact details to help individuals with questions about the use of their  personal data (already a matter of good practice when it comes to an organisation's privacy policy); and
  • whether data controllers should have the option of providing a more narrative description of the data processing they carry out, with the opportunity to link to the organisation's  more detailed privacy policies.
The ICO would continue to provide template forms for specific types of data controllers, but Datonomy suspects that many of its readers' organisations would favour … Continue Reading ››
Datonomy's Asian correspondents provide a practical  guide to the Personal Data Protection Bill,  introduced before the Singapore Parliament this week. This post by Olswang's Rob Bratby provides corporates with a user-friendly guide to the essentials. The legislation could be in force by the end of 2012. Datonomy has been watching the progress of Singapore's privacy regime with interest - see our April post by Elle Todd, which highlights some of the key differences with the EU regime  with which Datonomy readers are more familiar.  
At a recent conference on the EU's data protection reform proposals in Berlin, Cornelia Rogall-Grothe, state secretary at the German Ministry of Interior, expressed doubts regarding some fundamental principles of the draft regulation which made it clear that the European Commission's proposal has a long way to go before a final version may be adopted. It is not news that the German government disapproves of the draft regulation's approach to also regulate data protection for the public sector, i.e. the state. Ms. Rogall-Grothe emphasised that German data protection provisions for the public sector were very elaborated, both by statutory law and judgements of theFederal Constitutional Court. Thus, it would not be necessary to regulate the organisation of public registries or the handling of social security data by a harmonised European law. In addition, the state secretary sees an inherent danger that efforts to enforce data protection rules for the private sector were … Continue Reading ››
Unlike in the UK, the implementation of the European Directive 2009/136/EC, also called Cookie-Directive, is not a major point of concern amongst e-commerce businesses in Germany. So far, the Federal government limited the implementation of the directive to amendments of the Telecommunications Act (TKG) that mainly covers the technical process of sending signals and the telecommunications market regulation and sees no need to amend other German legislation due to the directive. In the TKG draft amendment, government stated that individual questions such as the amendment of Art. 5 para 3 of directive 2002/58/EC are still subject to a consultation process on the European level including self regulation solutions by the advertising industry, and that they intend to wait for the results of this consultation process before amending any laws. The Ministry of Economics takes the view that an opt-in solution is already realised by sec. 12 para 1 and 2 … Continue Reading ››
Datonomy can empathise with anyone tasked with making their organisation's website compliant with the cookie consent rules. Here we share our own experiences,  review the latest guidance from the ICO and take a look at some of the compliance mechanisms appearing  on other UK websites. Stop press – revised guidance from the ICO on implied consent The ICO marked the end of its year long enforcement amnesty by refreshing its guidance.  On 25 May it launched: The clear message from the ICO is that, although non compliant businesses must now take action, the emphasis should be on "good" rather than "rushed" compliance solutions.   The most … Continue Reading ››