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By The Royal Academy of Engineering

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Unlike some of its European counterparts, the ICO 30 The Royal Academy of Engineering Dilemmas of Privacy and Surveillance Challenges of Technological Change has no powers to carry out audits of information handlers without their consent. The lack of a threat of random checks may mean that many organisations are not as stringent as they would otherwise be in following the law. The ICO is unlikely in the foreseeable future to have sufficient resources to carry out compulsory audits itself, but auditing on behalf of the ICO carried out by approved commercial organisations could be considered (in return for some form of concession by the ICO).

The Royal Academy of Engineering 29 The DPA makes special provisions for 'sensitive personal data', which includes data about religious beliefs, political opinions and trade union membership, racial or ethnic origin, health condition and sex life. Further conditions must be met if this sensitive data are to be judged as fairly processed. e. individuals) have specific rights under the DPA. The principal rights are: • the right of access - which allows the subject to find out what data are held about them; • the right to prevent processing that causes unwarranted damage or distress to the data subject or another person; • the right to prevent processing for direct marketing; • rights in relation to automated decision-taking - individuals can object to decisions made using solely automated means; • the right to compensation - when the act is breached; • the right to rectification, blocking, erasure and destruction - when personal details are inaccurate or include opinions which are based on inaccurate information; • the right to ask the Information Commissioner (see below) to assess whether the Act has been contravened.

This requires privacy protection at a fundamental level, developing online services so that identity information about users can be disconnected in this manner. Privacy has to be engineered into the system at the most fundamental level, allowing anonymity or at least pseudonymity of users (the ability of users to have a different pseudonym for different services) at the level of the infrastructure. 4. The Context of authentication It is essential to ensure that the means of identification is fit for the purposes of identification and the context in which it takes place.

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