What has Bob Dylan, ethics in data collection and GDPR have in common? More than you think.

Yes, how many years can some people exist

Before they’re allowed to be free?

Yes, how many times can a man turn his head

Pretending he just doesn’t see?

Yes, how many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky?

Yes, how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry?

The answer, according to Dylan is blowin in the wind.

Bob DylanBack in 1962, Blowin’ in the Wind became the anthem of the civil rights movement. In fact, Peter, Paul & Mary performed it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August of that year, a few hours before Dr Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech.

Years later, Dylan explained that the song can mean whatever you want it to mean. But there’s no getting away from the sentiment that it asks questions about what’s wrong with the world...

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Navroz Mubarak!

Zoroaster

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EDPS demands Data Protection Officers are compulsory under GDPR

ButtarelliThis week the EU’s independent privacy watchdog, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has declared wide ranging support for the European Parliament’s version of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that’s the subject of trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, European Parliament and Council that may be concluded as early as end of October 2015.

However, a notable difference between the EDPS and the European Parliament’s view is the mandatory appointment by organisations and companies of a Data Protection Officer (DPO).

It’s worth noting that 35% of all EU Member States currently require the appointment of a DPO as a compulsory measure, so it would take just 16% of other EU Member States to make this the majority view within the EU.

Under Section...

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DPO is ‘compliance orchestrator’ under GDPR says Working Party 29

Zubin MethaFor Working Party 29 (WP29), the role of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) under the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the cornerstone of accountability as well as being a real tool of competitiveness for companies.

Tasked with the implementation of accountability tools that include the policies, procedures documentation, data protection impact assessments as well as internal training for all employees entrusted with handling customer data, the DPO is more like a ‘compliance orchestrator’ in much the same way as a conductor of a symphony orchestra, such as Parsee-born Zubin Mehta, conductor of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

In its advice note to the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Ministers, WP29 said: “While recognising the need f...

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What GDPR means for organisations and companies in 2015

Get Ready for GDPRCompanies and organisations that use data at the centre of their sales and marketing activities – and that’s just about everyone reading this blog – will be impacted by the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Agreement between the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and European Commission now looks like a distinct possibility in November/December 2015 after which there’ll be a two-year transition period before sanctions begin to bite.

How the GDPR fits into an overall framework of changes within the European Union

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The Charter is an important development as it’s the first formal EU document to combine and declare all the values and fundamental rights (economic and social as well as civil and political) to which EU citize...

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Is Google taking the pee out of data protection?

Google taking the pissIt’s no exaggeration to claim but when the history of data protection and privacy is written 10 years from now, one company will be credited with having had the most influence over the shape of data protection and privacy across the European Union (EU).

And it’s Google.

No week goes past without some reference to one of the most powerful digital companies on the planet. And this week just gone has been no exception.

On Thursday 9 July, Google was forced to revise its privacy policy after the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) threatened to fine company €15m. Google will now have to seek new users’ permission to combine their personal data throughout its services...

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“Positive vibes” as Trilogue on GDPR begins today

Positive EU vibes2Speaking after the first Trilogue meeting today, Jan Philipp Albrecht, Rapporteur for the European Parliament said that agreement between the European Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers may be achievable by the end of 2015 alongside the Data Protection Directive for law enforcement – the so-called EU Police Directive.

Speaking to reporters, Albrecht said: “The Trilogue (negotiations) today showed very clearly that agreement is feasible if all parties are open to compromise. All parties are committed to the timetable. The texts are actually a lot closer to each other now than we thought a few months ago.”

He was referring to the versions of GDPR that each side has as they enter negotiations over the next 6 months in order to reach agreement on the precise wording for GDPR...

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European Council of Ministers in “historic step” for GDPR by end of 2015

V Jourova, European Commission describes progress on GDPR as an historic daySpeaking at a news conference a few hours ago, Věra Jourová, the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality announced that an “historic step” had been taken today as the European Council of Ministers reached agreement on the general approach on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Latvia’s minister for justice Dzintars Rasnačs added: “We have moved a great step closer to modernised and harmonised data protection framework for the European Union. I am very content that after more than 3 years of negotiations we have finally found a compromise on the text and (GDPR)… will strengthen individual rights of our citizens and ensure a high standard of protection.”

What this means is that the Council of Ministers has political agreement on the basis of...

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Magna Carta is still relevant for the rule of law, observes David Pearson

Guest blogger David Pearson shares his thoughts on the significance of the 800th year anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Magna cartaThis weekend marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede by King John on 15thJune 1215. On 14th June church bells will peel across the land to celebrate the occasion. (That happens to be my birthday so I’ve told my lunch guests that I’ve arranged the bell ringing in my honour.) Magna Carta was effectively a peace treaty between King John and the Barons who opposed him to avoid a civil war.

Most of its 63 clauses constitute a deal restoring or granting rights to the Barons. King John had no intention of honouring these clauses and within eight weeks had persuaded Pope Innocent III to annul it.

So why has it come to be so significant in wo...

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A galaxy of stars twinkle in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015

house-of-cards-kevin-spaceyKevin Spacey, the Hollywood star who has spent so long running the Old Vic he has almost become a Londoner, has been given the ultimate establishment accolade — an honorary knighthood.

Spacey, whose charity work has earned him the support of the Prince of Wales, is named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, published today.

The star of The Usual Suspects and House of Cards said: “I am honoured and humbled by such recognition from the Queen. I must thank the British public for being so supportive of my efforts on behalf of the Old Vic. I feel like an adopted son.”

As a US citizen, Spacey, 55, will be able to wear the insignia of the award, but will not be called Sir Kevin. His citation says he has done much to secure the long-term future of the theatre.

The list also sees a knight...

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