On January 17, 2011, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP (the “Centre”) released a response to the European Commission’s consultation paper, “A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union.” In its response, prepared by Richard Thomas, former UK Information Commissioner and Global Strategy Advisor of the Centre, the Centre calls for a modernized European framework for data protection that addresses the realities of the digital age.
“Companies, organizations and governments internationally should understand the risks they create for individuals as they use data, how they may mitigate those privacy risks and stand ready to be answerable for their actions,” said Marty Abrams, Executive Director of the Centre. “The simple word for this is accountability, and it needs to sit hand in glove with the innovation that is a key feature of our evolving information age.”
“In the EU and in the U.S. there is an understanding that the existing legal framework is not working, and the question is how bold will policymakers and industry be in using this opportunity to make fundamental changes,” added Abrams.
Richard Thomas prepared a summary from a lecture on the challenges and need for a modernized global regulatory environment for personal information. The Centre also will release responses to the recent Federal Trade Commission privacy paper and the Department of Commerce’s “Green Paper” later this month.