Friday, August 11, 2006

Russian Data Protection Law

Not being an expert in Russian law, but this brief article (pdf) did catch my attention. Two new laws, About Personal Data 2006 and (160-03) and About Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information 2006 (No. 149-03) were signed by the President Vladimir Putin on July 27, 2006. This would mean that the law on personal data will take effect in February 2007, bringing Russia into line with the other European countries that have enacted data protection laws.
The laws are meant to give effect to the European Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, ratified by Russia last year....

About Personal Data (The Personal Data Act) regulates the processing of personal data by Russia’s federal and regional governments, municipal authorities, legal entities and natural persons. It applies to both automatically and manually processed data. The aim is to protect an individual’s rights and freedoms, in particular the right to privacy, and private and family secrets...

The data protection laws are certainly beginning to make its headway. May it long continue...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

28th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner's Conference

The 28th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners' Conference will be held in London on the 2 and 3 November 2006 and hosted by the Information Commissioner. One of the main themes of discussion will be surveillance. The ICO has commissioned a report into the the theme "Are we sleep walking into a surveillance society? The threats to individuals and the challenges for data protection authorities."

One of the challenges facing us today is the amount of personal information that can be collected, be it on the internet, supermarket or at our place of work. The Data Protection Act 1998, which implements the Data Protection Directive 95/46EC goes some way to regulate the collection of personal data. With the subject of ID cards raising its head again and the possibility of a national ID card database, the question is not so much about whether we are sleep walking into a surveillance society, but the implications (socially or politically) about the personal information that are collected of an individual/group of individuals? There is much scope for debate, but for an interesting read, see David Brin's work The Transparent Society.