We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

UK official calls for privacy standards

Info commissioner wants international harmony

The UK's information commissioner, Richard Thomas, has called for international harmonisation of privacy rules.

His call follows recent disputes between the EU. and the US over privacy safeguards for European air passenger data and financial transaction information requested by the US as part of its anti-terrorism efforts.

Speaking at the International Association of Privacy Professionals' summit in Washington, Thomas said: "We must all do global privacy better. Information flows do not recognise international boundaries. The internet is rightly called the world wide web. Likewise travel, finance, commerce, telecoms, crime, scams and terrorism all increasingly operate internationally.

"We can no longer go on with different privacy controls in different parts of the world. Inconsistencies cause unnecessary confusion and complexity, increased costs and reduced consumer trust and confidence."

He added: "Greater consistency - especially between US and EU approaches - will reduce barriers to transferring data and give people better assurances that their personal information is protected wherever it goes."

A better global privacy system "means an active commitment to harmonisation", he said.

Thomas added: "Just as it is important that US privacy laws are not discussed in isolation from the rest of the world, so too must the European Union be ready to consider changes."

There could be "scope for less bureaucracy, less emphasis on prior authorisation and a more concrete focus on preventing real harm", he said.


IDG UK Sites

OnePlus One release date, price, specs UK: No invite needed any longer

IDG UK Sites

15 analogue facts that today's kids won't understand: winding tapes, Ceefax and more

IDG UK Sites

da Vinci Junior 3D printer review

IDG UK Sites

WWDC 2015: What Apple will launch at WWDC 2015: Apple TV, Macs, more & how to get WWDC tickets