The Information Commissioner has called for a more ‘practical approach’ to data protection regulation, and urged for the regulatory bodies not to fall behind as technology alters the movement and use of personal information.
Speaking as host of the European Conference of Data Protection Authorities, Christopher Graham said: “The digital revolution has implications for every aspect of our lives – as citizens, as consumers, as individuals.
“We communicate. We consume. We transact. And, unless we are very alert, we are also tracked. Shopping in the supermarket or online, our purchasing habits are recorded and analysed. We live in a world of Big Data and the Internet of Things.
“Governments too have gone digital, keen to find efficiencies in the delivery of joined up public services.
“And now there’s the security dimension, with politicians claiming that public safety is an absolute right, while privacy is a right that may need to be qualified.
“That’s where we need to get practical. Because the challenges are to how we do things, not what we are there for. If we want to be effective doing what we do, we are going to have to learn to do some things differently.”
Graham also discussed the role of reformed EU data protection legislation, the role of international collaboration in tackling data security and how regulatory authorities can be effectively funded.