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15 September 2015

Don't wait for EU regulation to practice good data ethics

Data is an increasingly valuable good. That is why organisations are so eager to collect as much of it as possible. And that is also why consumers and governments are increasingly concerned about what organisations will do with their data. The European Union (EU) has been actively involved in data protection and the data movement for many years. The most visible result of these activities was the Directive of the European Parliament in 1995 “on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data”. This directive, which stipulated basic human rights such as privacy and access to their own personal data on the one hand, and free movement of data between member states of the EU on the other, was to be the foundation for national laws in each individual member state. The freedom for each member state to interpret this directive according to the local culture and views on data privacy seemed the best possible solution, given the sometimes huge differences between those ...

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