New guidance on meaning of "personal data"
The Article 29 Working Group has given a very comprehensive and helpful opinion on the meaning of personal data. It goes much further than the narrow approach in Durant v. Financial Services Authority, and specifically rejects the view that information must "have the data subject as its focus" before it can constitute personal data.
Data Retention Directive implemented in UK - but only for telephone data
The UK has now implemented the Data Retention Directive in respect of telephone records, choosing a one year retention period. The implementation of the Directive in respect of internet activity has been deferred pending further consultation.
Manual data to be treated in the same way as computerised data
The Data Protection Acts will apply in full to manual data from 24 October 2007. When the 2003 Act extended the data protection principles from computerised data to include manual data (such as paper files) it provided for a four year transitional period in which existing manual data would be exempt from sections 2, 2A and 2B of the Acts (dealing with the collection, processing, keeping and use of personal data and sensitive personal data). That transitional period ends on 24 October, which may cause problems for organisations which have older files which are not compliant with the new law.