"We live in a surveillance society ". This is the opening sentence of the Report on the Surveillance Society for the Information Commissioner published in September 2006. It states that Everyday life in the U.K. is monitored through the use of credit card, mobile phone, travel cards, loyalty card information, telecommunications, CCTV etc. The report reminds us that "surveillance is two-sided" and warns against a loss of privacy. A specific right in relation to the protection of personal data had however already been granted to UK citizens under the Data Protection Act 1984. These rights were largely expanded by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998 hereafter). However, in a surveillance society increasingly obsessed with fear of terrorism, prevention of crime, productivity and consumerism, daily surveillance remains the norm, and the data subjects are legitimately led to wonder whether they are sufficiently protected by their rights to privacy.
[...] This posed a problem, especially in relation to the U.S. where data privacy is hardly legislated. Because U.S corporations were worried about the possible consequences of the Directive on international commerce, the U.S. Department of Commerce developed the Safe Harbour principle by which corporations can, on a voluntary basis, agree to a set of data protection rules” so as to render data transfers between the EU and the US possible. However, Peter Blume warns that the principles of the safe harbour process “substantially diminish the level of protection as stated in the directive”. [...]
[...] (2004), Introduction to Computer Law, 5th ed Table of cases British Gas Trading v Data Protection registrar (1998) [Unreported] Table of legislations In the United Kingdom: Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Data Protection Act 1984 Data Protection Act 1998 Human Rights Act 1998 Terrorism Act 2000 European Community Legislations European Directives: Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC European Convention: Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms 1950 Journal articles BLUME P. (2000), Transborder Data Flow: Is There a Solution in InternationalJournal of Law and IT BODDY H. (2003), “Controlling Email and Internet Abuse”, Constitutional Law EDWARDS L. (2003), “Consumer Privacy, On-Line Business And The Internet: Looking For Privacy In All The Wrong Places”, International Journal of Law and IT HENDRIE-LANO J. (2003), Data Retention Regime: The ISPs Point of Electronic business Law MALCOLM W. (2002), “Privacy and Surveillance: Trouble Ahead for Communications Providers”, New Law Journal OLIVIER H. [...]
[...] (2001) Brother Gets Bigger: Moves for More Surveillance”, Electroic Business Law POISERM S. (2004), “Does the Effectiveness of CCTV as a Crime Prevention Strategy Outweight the Threat to Civil Liberties?”, Police Journal SINGLETON S. (1999), Focus—Surveillance”, Consumer Law Today UNWIN B.(2002), “Keeping an Eye on Surveillance”, New Law Journal WADHAM J. (2000), “Remedies for Unlawful CCTV Sureveillance Part New law Journal WALDEN I. (2001), “Balancing rights: Surveillance and Data Protection” Electronic Business Law Websites European Commission- Justice and Home Affairs (2007), Data Protection, Legislative Documents, last accessed the 8th of May 2007 at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/privacy/law/index_en.htm Information Commissioner Office ( 2007) last accessed the 8th of May 2007 at: http://www.ico.gov.uk/ YouGov Survey (2006), last accessed the 8th of may 2007 at: http://www.yougov.com/archives/pdf/TEL060101024_4.pdf Newspaper articles “Police questioned over terror act (2003), [online] BBC News September at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3097150.stm Press statement Eurocop (2005) Europe wide retention of telecommunications data unlikely to help law enforcement agencies in the fight against terrorism June. [...]
[...] Privacy and surveillance society in the UK live in a surveillance society”. This is the opening sentence of the Report on the Surveillance Society for the Information Commissioner published in September 2006. Everyday life in the U.K. it says is monitored through the use of credit card, mobile phone, travel cards, loyalty card information, telecommunications, CCTV etc. The report reminds us that “surveillance is two-sided” and warns against a loss of privacy. No general right to privacy existed in the UK before the incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) in the constitution through the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). [...]
[...] These rights were largely expanded by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998 hereafter). However, in a surveillance society increasingly obsessed with fear of terrorism, prevention of crime, productivity and consumerism, daily surveillance remains the norm, and the data subjects are legitimately led to wonder whether they are sufficiently protected by their rights to privacy. This essay will argue that a strengthening of privacy law in the UK is necessary, first in relation to the state, secondly in relation to private companies and to the work place, and lastly in relation to data transfer abroad. [...]
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