[OPEN THREAD] Reforming privacy laws: a little help?

A plea for help: as I’ve mentioned before, I’m sitting on the Lib Dems’ Better Governance Working Group. I’ve been tasked with coming up with some detailed policy on what the Lib Dems would do on the thorny issue of privacy. Specifically: would we reform data protection? What is our response to the Regulatory of Investigative Powers Act? Should we legislate for a privacy law and thus potentially subject the media to a regulatory regime? How do we protect privacy in an internet age when anyone can violate an individual’s privacy within seconds by revealing personal information on a blog or forwarding an email? How do we roll back the ever encroaching state while being mindful of security issues?

All tricky issues. I have some idea about what to right, but I have an open mind here and would appreciate input. Please email me at semajmaharg@gmail.com or just post a comment below.



  1. You may want to look at the folks over at http://www.fipr.org/ (Foundation for Information Policy Research) who have some strident views on this.
    I’m sure Ross Anderson will be willing to bend your ear about privacy.

    Bruce Schneier also has some very sensible things to say about privacy:

    Personally I think that privacy is a very important issue in today’s world. Its come to the forefront sue to the increased ability of others to violate privacy, be they the working for the state, a company or lone individuals.

    In a liberal society privacy is essential. We cannot function as private individuals without privacy. Identifying those situations when privacy may be violated is very difficult, but one thing is for certain the claim ‘If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear’ is a falsehood which must be combated at every opportunity.

  2. I’d be interested to read the consultation document, but none of the links appears to work on the ‘Better Governance’ website.

    FIPR is ‘strident’, Eridu? Ross would ‘bend your ear’? Rather disheartening that those of us actively working to safeguard the privacy that you value are nonetheless described in language that implies obsessively unreasonable hotheads.

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