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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I did two posts on this subject in the early stages of this blog, and praised the Brits for running circles around the U.S. in protecting consumer names and personal data. That was in 2005, when the ChoicePoint incident had just occurred, and data breach legislation was the talk of our congressional leaders. Almost two years later and you would think nothing had happened in between. Yeah, only 100 million-plus private records lost or stolen, resulting from over 400 data breaches. And this Congress is still standing around talking about the problem. Pathetic! The UK Data Protection Act of 1998 provides constraints on the use of consumer names and private information requiring notification of use to the Information Commissioner’s office. It stops just short of my concept to put the control in the hands of the individual. Just two weeks ago the Brits announced they are cracking down on the reckless use of personal data with sentences of up to a two year imprisonment for some violations. Read more. I’ve talked personally with both the Information Commissioner’s office and people in the UK involved in this issue, and, although the law isn’t perfect—what law is?—it works, and it is better than nothing.

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