cearta.ie

the Irish for rights

Data Privacy: Three Cautionary Tales

Irish Times image, via the Irish Times website.On front page of this morning’s Irish Times, Karlin Lillington writes

Garda powers of request for internet data to be widened

THE RANGE of criminal investigations for which the Garda will be able to request e-mail and internet data retained by internet service providers has been broadened by the Government. … Under the draft statutory instrument, retained data would include names of those who sent and received e-mails, computer addresses, the location of computer users, the times a user logged on and off a computer, and the size of files and e-mails sent and received, but not the content of e-mails.

Data theft, via BBC siteHow secure will all this retained data be? Consider another story also on RTÉ and on the front page of this morning’s Irish Times, where Paul Cullen writes

10,000 customers affected after four B of I
laptops are stolen


BANK OF Ireland is to write to over 10,000 of its life assurance customers after laptops containing their confidential personal and financial details were stolen. The four laptops belonging to Bank of Ireland Life were stolen at various dates last year, but the data protection commissioner and financial regulator were informed of the thefts only last Friday. None of the stolen information was encrypted, although lesser forms of security, such as password protection, were in place. …

Perhaps this is a one-off? Not at all. Later in the same story, Cullen recalls that

earlier this year there was controversy when a laptop belonging to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, and containing the personal details of over 170,000 blood donors, was stolen in New York. However, this information, unlike the records now stolen from Bank of Ireland Life, was encrypted.

Personal data devices, via the BBC technology website.Read the Data Protection Commissioner‘s conclusions on this controversy here. And we are not alone. According to Darren Waters on the BBC News website

Customer data ‘needs protection’

Companies and public bodies are not doing enough to protect customers’ data, the UK’s privacy watchdog and a major survey of security have said. The Information Commissioner [Richard Thomas] said that the 94 security breaches reported to him last year was an “alarming” number. The survey of more than 1,000 firms suggested that almost 90% of them let staff leave offices with potentially confidential data stored on USB sticks. … Mr Thomas’ findings and the separate Information Security Breaches Survey will be detailed at the InfoSec show in London, the world’s largest event of its kind. The survey was carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers on behalf of the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. …

Are you afraid for your data privacy yet? I am; I am very afraid.

3 Responses to “Data Privacy: Three Cautionary Tales”

  1. […] Data Privacy: Three Cautionary Tales (from cearta.ie) Written by Dave, on April 22, 2008 at 10:43 am; Tagged as Privacy __(and tagged) Bank of Ireland, Data privacy, Privacy. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « links for 2008-04-15 […]

  2. […] Data Privacy: Three Cautionary Tales [via cearta.ie] […]

  3. […] — where there is a real risk of serious harm occurring as a result of a data breach (a matter much in the news nowadays, as this week’s story of the theft of a Department of Social Welfare laptop shows); […]

Leave a Reply

 

Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

Academic links
Academia.edu
ORCID

Subscribe

  • RSS Feed
  • RSS Feed
  • Subscribe via Email
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Archives by month

Categories by topic

My recent tweets

Blogroll (or, really, a non-blogroll)

What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution

Thanks,

Eoin.

Licence

Creative Commons License

This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

Credit where it’s due

The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

Thanks to Blacknight for hosting.