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.

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