The Curse of the Padlock

One of the dangers of working in Data Protection is the risk of becoming a pedant. Precision matters; court cases have turned on the meaning of individual words like ‘likely’ and ‘distress’. The legislation is a maze of definitions and concepts that the competent practitioner needs to get to grips with. Lazy thinking can be […]

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Crazy Naked Girls

There’s little to like about the voyeuristic coverage of the theft of images of famous women. Whether it is the feverish frottage of the mainstream press (which largely boils down to LOOK AT ‘EM ALL, IMAGINE ‘EM ALL NAKED, NNNNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!) or the inevitably crass victim blaming (thank you, Ricky Gervais, for The Office and for […]

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Peeping Tom

There have already been excellent articles about the antics of contributors to the Facebook page “Women Who Eat on Tubes’, including one by Sophie Wilkinson, one of the women who has been targeted, by the Irish Data Protection lawyer Fergal Crehan, and a surprisingly sympathetic interview in the Telegraph with the page’s progenitor, Tom Burke, in which he […]

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Doctor knows best

Dr Clare Gerada, who was until recently chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, has written an article for The Times about care.data, stoutly defending the scheme and its benefits for the public. The Times doesn’t give its stories away for free (a stance that they’re perfectly entitled to adopt), so if you want […]

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Soylent Green Is Data

Recently I encountered two good examples of the private sector’s attitude to privacy and consent, both of which vexed me. Firstly, the social media expert Mat Morrison (@mediaczar) highlighted on Twitter a thoughtful blog by @Drdrang about free internet services with the statement that it was the “definitive response to ‘if you aren’t paying for it, […]

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Every time you attack the Data Protection Act, a fairy dies

According to comments reported in the Daily Mail (http://tinyurl.com/bqa5dpm), Baroness Deech says that a school should be able to tell a university that a prospective applicant’s mother is an alcoholic, and their father abandoned them, without fear that the parent or child be able to find out. The inability to share information so vital to […]

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Cambridge in Thermal Image Sex Shocker

Important privacy news reaches us, hot from the virtual presses of Cambridge-news.co.uk:  http://tinyurl.com/3vbjlgz . The council is sponsoring a plan for surveyors to tour the Cambridge area, using thermal imaging cameras to take pictures of houses. Those that are revealed to have poor insulation will be asked if they want a visit from experts who […]

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Naming and shaming

Last week, David Cameron asserted that “we will not let any phoney concerns about human rights” prevent the publication of images that might help identify rioters. I didn’t hear anyone raising such concerns, but Cameron clearly felt that the privacy and human rights mob were waiting in the wings to take over where the looters had […]

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