Just in case you need any more reasons to stay in bed at the turn of the century, the Gartner Group announced at its security conference last week that the "whole world will be slowing down" for the millennium date change.
The company has devised a programme called "the four Cs of essential planning for Y2K". The first of these is Contingency; that is, have a plan in the first place. The second C is for Circumvention, so plan to work around a known future event. The third C is for Continuity, which Gartner says means recovering normal operations following the loss of resources, facilities or technology. And the final C is Crisis management, which is a Contradiction in terms.
Apart from perpetuating Year 2000 fears, Gartner's conference in London last week did cover some important ground on the European Data Privacy Directive. The key area of concern is being how information security regulations will evolve in the areas of privacy and electronic commerce.
The European Directive was passed in 1995 and must be incorporated into the national laws of its members states by October 1998. The Directive's plans are twofold: to harmonise the different data protection laws of the member states; and to prevent the transfer of personal information from the EU to countries that do not have data protection laws in place.
The Directive requires mechanisms in each member state to prevent the transfer of data to such countries.
The European Commission is exerting pressure on its trading partners in the US and Japan to shape up their privacy laws or risk an "information trade embargo".
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