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A European Data Protection Working Party has stated its opinion that geographical location data should be protected under current data protection legislation as constituting personal data.

The definition of personal data under the legislation is any data that can be used to identify an individual. The Working Party has suggested that information on people’s whereabouts obtained from devices such as mobile phones and wi-fi access points can lead to identification of them through the location of their home or place of employment.

Therefore, the Working Party has suggested that location services should only be switched on if the user specifically consents to them and also to the use of the data by each organisation accessing it.

The European Commission is currently considering how the Data Protection Directive will be amended later in the year to take account of developments in technology such as cloud computing and social networking applications and changes in advertising and data sharing practices.

Written by Andrew Hodges

June 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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