European plans to develop a data protection scheme common to all country members will be scotched by the rise of data warehouses, it emerged last week.
Sally Annereau, a compliance manager at the Office of the Data Protection Registrar, said that the UK Act and future EU legislation would not protect individuals when data was collected and held offshore.
Foreign banks and companies could collect information from UK and European subsidiaries and hold personal information without fear of prosecution or control, said Annereau. "There?s no global body [for data protection]," she said. "There?s less protection overseas and [enforcement] depends on where the control is exercised."
UK government departments, including the Inland Revenue, came under the scope of the Act whether or not they were using foreign agencies like EDS to administer the scheme, she insisted. But international banks based on foreign soil would not fall under any data protection jurisdiction, she said.
She said: "The Act only applies to information held within the scope of the UK. There?s an EU directive on data protection which is being turned into an Act. It?s been finalised and we?ll have a new law by 1998." Countries within the EU are still waiting to decide on whether they would introduce an enforcement agency to police it.
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