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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Invasion of the data snatchers

    OUT-LAW reports that "Police will share data across Europe against privacy chief's advice".

    European police forces will have easier access to each others' information on criminals and suspects after ministers agreed a new data swap system. But Europe's data protection chief told OUT-LAW that his concerns over the system had been sidelined.

    Two years ago some European countries signed a deal called the Prüm Treaty, which enabled police forces to compare and swap data more easily. The EU has now adopted that as its own law, with minor alterations, giving countries three years in which to rewrite domestic laws in compliance with the agreement.

    In the light of all the data collected about its citizens by the UK authorities (see a list at
    Irony: That's FoI pronounced Phooey!) - and the recent announcement that over three-quarters of all black males in the UK will soon be on the police DNA database, this seems a little too much of an invasion of our personal space. Does this mean that 13-year olds who steal Smarties are going to have their details (and DNA?) passed around all over Europe?

    And on a not entirely unrelated matter - the Lords did indeed save us! A couple of cheers at least for them, for refusing to pass the FoI amendment.

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