Category Archive: Regulatory action

If you figure that privacy advocates are irrelevant, here’s why you should think again

By Simon Davies (This article appeared originally on the website of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in August 2016. In recent months, a small but tenacious army of privacy and consumer rights activists has been quietly ramping up for an assault on poor privacy and data protection practices by companies and governments. These …

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Data consent Part Two: For the sake of Europe’s privacy, it’s time we moved on from the unworkable consent model

 By Simon Davies Last week I published a post that questioned whether Europe’s data consent regime was any longer sustainable. The response to this blog was interesting. Rather than being pilloried by colleagues, I received overwhelming positive comments, both privately and on Twitter. Many took the view that consent was becoming meaningless, and that either …

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Why privacy commissioners are betraying human rights

By Simon Davies I want to briefly describe a small but messy footnote to history that just unfurled this week. This tale may explain why a big chunk of the privacy world is falling to pieces through neglect and betrayal by some privacy authorities. Many readers will be familiar with the role of privacy and …

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Five uncomfortable facts about the CJEU Safe Harbour decision

  By Simon Davies This week the CJEU, Europe’s highest court, struck down a long-standing arrangement that allowed the flow of personal information between the EU and the US. The court ruled that, in essence, the “Safe Harbour” agreement isn’t worth the paper it is written on because the US simply cannot guarantee that it …

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Seven lies about privacy (and how you can debunk them)

By Simon Davies No human right has ever been subjected to as much deception and attack as privacy. I mean, no-one tries to dilute protections against torture by saying “it doesn’t really hurt anyone”. But privacy is open-season for anyone with an interest in killing it off. Here we summarise seven of the most common …

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It’s time for Europe”s data protection authorities to engage with the real world

 By Simon Davies I won’t name names, but there are some data protection authorities (DPA’s) in Europe who need a swift kicking over their general attitude. Some of them are becoming increasingly timid, isolated and invisible to the public. This can’t go on. If there was any moment for tenacity and strategic engagement, it’s now. …

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Why opposing privacy reform is now dinosaur thinking

By Simon Davies If anyone wants proof of the relevance of privacy, they need only reflect on the fact that over the past three years, almost every government and corporation on earth has been repeatedly forced to address the issue. Wherever you turn – the WTO, WEF, IMF, the UN, the ILO or even Bilderberg …

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How to complain to a Data Protection Authority – a beginner’s guide

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By Simon Davies Total strangers often come up to me on the street and ask “How do I write a letter of complaint to my local data protection authority?” This is a question that deserves attention, so the Privacy Surgeon will deal with it head-on. Of course, as with so many such issues, there’s a …

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Europe’s shame: how governments are conspiring to cripple data protection rights

 By Simon Davies It’s official. The Council of the European Union, representing Europe’s governments, is moving swiftly to cripple data protection rights for half a billion people. As noted in a previous blog on the Privacy Surgeon, over recent months a deep chasm has emerged over Europe’s proposed new data protection framework. If this chasm …

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A speech reveals Google’s poetic deception over EU privacy law

By Simon Davies Last month, Google gave one of its most impressive public performances of the year – one that was filled with strategic artistry that would do justice to Mark Antony. It’s likely that you overlooked this precious moment, which is a pity because – like a Bill Hicks comedy sketch – it was …

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