I love what UK is doing to keep alive the data retention directive that died an untimely death recently with DRIP 😉
Some debate that it ‘extends’ the powers of RIPA. UK government officials claim it is just to cover the loss of the EU data retention requirements temporarily until they think of some new that is more manageable. Read what Panopticon blog is saying and decide for yourself?
I am amazed at how little publicity there was on Daniel Eks, founder of Spotify that had his identity stolen. The identity fraudster purchased goods of nearly 1 million kronor in his name and has now been indicted to 2 years in prison. A small price to pay for 1 million kronor don’t you think?
I have talked a lot on how easy it is to steal someone’s identity in Sweden, so this should come as no surprise I would expect to virtualshadows blog followers 😉
Love it… a mad-hatters party and Google invited themselves 😉
The Swedish press is now starting to discuss the problems with the law that gives easy access to the id numbers of Swedish residents. There is documented the background concerning this problem here.
The RTBF (Right to be forgotten) is a hot topic following the Spanish ruling against Google. The fact is that European Google must first evaluate and remove if considered reasonable search results that threaten the requester’s right to personal privacy. It is claimed to be a blow to Freedom of Speech. Google has already received 70,000 requests and receives on average 1000 requests each day! In U.K. claims are being made that it is in conflict with s.32 of the Data Protection Act 1998.
There is a good write-up on discussions following the ruling at: Debate Write-Up: Rewriting History.
Christopher Graham the Information Commissioner gives a good explanation of what it really means, but unfortunately it is lost in the panicked crys of other participants in the debate.
It is very straight-forward: There is claimed to be a the conflict between the Freedom of Speech and Personal Privacy, i.e. in this case the RTBF. However there is not, it is as Graham states:
1) There are two types of parties here: a) the data controller, and b) the journalist;
2) The ruling pertains to the data controller the RTBF, not journalists, so in UK for example, this does not impact s.32 of the Data Protection Act;
3) Just that the search results are not returned by the search engine of the data controller, does not mean that the data does not exist. It is just that is is not searchable;
4) This information pertaining to an individual is still on the website of the newspapers, and should be searchable directly on the website.
So this cannot be likened to ‘burning of books’ or ‘re-writing history’ as in George Orwell’s 1984. It basically means that if, for example an individual defrauded the Inland Revenue 10 years ago:
– If you search for this person by name, it will not return this name in the result.
– However if you search for ‘Inland Revenue fraud’ it could return this person’s name in one of the related articles.
What I see is that the main challenge is from a technical perspective. At the moment the onus is on the data controllers to receive requests, to decide if the requester has a valid request for removal from their search engines. However, I believe that this should be done as default by websites of newspapers. This could be difficult because on a technical level it is only possible, that I am aware of today, to exclude whole webpages from Google, not names or specific words.
As always David Lacey is ahead of the game. I agree wholeheartedly with his appraisal of the Forbes article on cybersecurity….
The rapid increase in identity fraud in Sweden is gaining some media attention (http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/krafttag-kravs-mot-id-kapning_3767990.svd). However they are missing the point. The solution is not to purely simplify the ‘clean-up process, but to change the law. And changing the law is not purely about criminalizing the crime but to enforce an individual’s basic fundamental right to information privacy. You should have the right to remove your personal information from websites making money from it! For example I have tried removing my date of birth from http://www.birthdays.se (see previous posts) and request was refused. The problem I have with my date of birth being public is that:
1) it is my personal information, and;
2) it is the first 6 digits of my Swedish personal id (YYMMDD-xxxx).
The root of the problem is that although the Personal Data Law (PuL) is here to protect our personal information, in this context the PuL is impotent. The Swedish codification of the European Union Directive on Data Protection just does not work. The source of the problem is that the Personal Data Act (PuL) does not apply if its application is in contrary to the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (1991).
So what this means is that the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression is being abused by companies making money from our identities. And I think that It is about time that this abuse is stopped!