edri.org writes that the United States authorities have produced another lobbying document to influence the European Union’s decision making on European citizens’ fundamental right to privacy and data protection.
Strangely, the document itself is not on headed paper and contains no authorship information. All of the lobbying documents produced so far have been in support of the positions taken by large US corporations and the adoption of US-style weak privacy protections in Europe.
Much of the joint US-government and corporation lobbying has centred on the misunderstanding or misrepresentation that the proposed legislation constitutes a huge revolution, rather than, for the most part, a reiteration of existing principles – improving implementation of legislation that has often been wilfully ignored, to the detriment of European citizens’ rights. The latest US document maintains this unfortunate trend.
The document explains that privacy should not be approached as a “legal harmonization exercise” but instead “interoperability of frameworks” as this is what the United States and EU have “always done”. In other policy areas, however, the USA has no problems with imposing its will on other countries. For example, the United States keeps a so-called Special 301 “watch list” of countries that fail, in its view, to maintain adequate levels of protection of “intellectual property” rights andthreatens those countries with sanctions if they do not follow the orders of the United States.
Instead of reasoned argument, the document launches straight into a bizarre range of desperate and groundless claims about how the proposals are going to lead to terrorism, financial meltdown and… the last refuge of the…(read the rest of the story HERE).
Reding on pseudonymous data: We should encourage companies to use pseudonyms rather than the actual names
Commissioner Viviane Reding intervened in the Justice Council on March 8, 2013, on matters related to the adoption of the Data Protection Regulations. She referred among other things to the issue of pseudonymous data, saying that incentives should be created for companies to use such data instead of the names of the data subject. Nevertheless, Reding insisted that it should always be kept in mind that pseudonymous data is personal data and that it should be subject in general to the data protection legal regime.
“Anonymous data is easy to deal with. It is outside the scope of the instrument. There is no risk. The Commission’s proposal makes this clear.
Pseudonymous data is more difficult. I understand the principle. We should encourage companies to use pseudonyms rather than the actual names of persons. This makes sense. It is in the interest of citizens. For pseudonyms to be used, you need to create incentives. Lighter obligations on privacy by design or on notification of breaches are candidates.
The inclusion of a notion of pseudonymous data has also been suggested by the European Parliament’s Rapporteur, Jan-Philipp Albrecht. This demonstrates that there is convergence between the Council and the Parliament on key elements of this file.
But I would sound a note of caution: Pseudonymous data is personal data. It relates to an identified or identifiable natural person and has to be protected under the Charter and EU law. Risks to privacy remain and are real. A single piece of data such as an email address can create a link between a very accurate profile and a person. It is particularly important to keep this in mind since pseudonymous data is often used in the health sector.
So I am happy to work on the notion of pseudonymous data but I will be vigilant. We need a robust definition and robust safeguards. Pseudonymous data must not become a Trojan horse at the heart of the Regulation, allowing the non-application of its provisions.”
You can find the entire intervention HERE.
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Tagged data protection regulation, pseudonymous data, pseudonyms, Viviane Reding