Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Careful re-use of personal data included in public sector information

Last week the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published his opinion on the European Commission's Open Data Package, which includes a proposal for an amendment of Directive 2003/98/EC on re-use of public sector information (PSI). Some of the PSI may contain personal data of European citizens, which means that it requires additional protection measures in handling it. The EDPS stated:

"The re-use of PSI containing personal data may bring significant benefits, but also entails great risks to the protection of personal data, due to the wide variety of data held by public sector bodies. The Commission proposal should therefore more clearly define in what situations and subject to what safeguards information containing personal data may be required to be made available for re-use." (EDPS calls for data protection safeguards before public sector information containing personal data can be re-used)

The EDPS agrees that re-use of PSI can be beneficial, but requires the European Commission to pay more attention to the protection of personal data of EU citizens.

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