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London MEP highlights data protection rights and threats

January 28, 2010 12:00 PM

On the fourth European Data Protection Day, Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"Whether it be DNA databases, ID cards, 'strip search' body scanners, collection of passenger data, CCTV or internet search engines, our personal data is increasingly being collected and used or abused. The European Parliament must stick to its guns and use its recently boosted powers to ensure that the EU in its own security schemes does not undermine the stringent data protection standards Europeans are proud of."

"But in the UK, while the data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner has thanks to Brussels secured more powers, he still lacks sufficient money and staff to combat the massive proliferation of threats to our privacy. The good work he can do is illustrated by his I in Online campaign to inform children and their parents about the privacy issues."

"As the European Commission announced yesterday, a far-reaching modernisation of EU data protection laws is planned. While maintaining its strict, this will address privacy issues surrounding new technologies like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter."

"The Information Commissioner is also in his campaign seeking to raise awareness amongst teenagers about the danger of over-sharing personal information on social networking sites, a concern I very much share. Despite the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, declaring that no one cares about privacy any more, they may regret later when job-seeking that all their youthful indiscretions are on display for all and sundry!"