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Current News Updates

PL&B UK E-news, Issue 48

18 September, 2006
© Privacy Laws & Business 2006

  1. Government wants private and public sectors to share data
  2. Network operators and ISPs may face duty to notify security breaches
  3. ICO advice on unwanted direct marketing calls

 1. Government wants private and public sectors to share data

The Government says that public bodies should share data with the private sector fraud database CIFAS, which is commonly used by the financial sector. CIFAS would then be not only accessed by public sector organisations, but they would also add personal data to it, such as details on individuals’ taxation.

The paper, published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), says that public sector membership of CIFAS would help to cut down fraud, and could mean savings of approximately £137m–£273m every year.

The DCA is also trying to reduce the burden on business. The aim is that businesses would not need to deliver the same information twice to public bodies. This principle will form part of a new statutory Code of Practice for regulators, which will be published for consultation in 2007.

The Information Commissioner (ICO) supports data sharing as long as privacy considerations are taken into account. The ICO is currently developing guidelines for assessing information sharing proposals from the privacy perspective, and a framework code of practice.

See the DCA paper, published on 13th September, at

 2. Network operators and ISPs may face duty to notify security breaches

The EU proposes that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and network operators would be obliged to inform regulators and individuals of security breaches that jeopardize personal data. The regulators would also inform the general public if they considered that it was in the public interest.

The consultation about these proposed changes to the e-privacy Directive runs until 27th October. A similar law in California has resulted in many businesses having to reveal their data security breaches.

See the document at

 3. ICO advice on unwanted direct marketing calls

The ICO has published guidance for companies on how to deal with unwanted direct marketing calls. Organisations are encouraged to register their number on the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), which is run by the Direct Marketing Association.

See the guidance, published on 23rd August, on


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