EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION DAY – PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY ONLINE AND OFF
European Data Protection Day takes place on Sunday 28th January. Irish civil
rights group Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) has put together a list of things
you can do to protect your privacy. DRI Chairman TJ McIntyre said:
“European research shows that people are concerned about their privacy but
generally feel they know little about what they can do to protect
themselves. Digital Rights Ireland has put up on its website a list of
practical things you can do to protect your privacy, online and off. If you
are interested in stopping spam text messages, cutting down on junkmail,
stopping telephone calls trying to sell you something, or finding out what
information a company or body holds about you then visit
www.digitalrights.ie for more information.”
Background for Editors:
European Data Protection Day is organised by the Council of Europe.
Digital Rights Ireland is a non-profit group devoted to protecting civil and
human rights in a digital age.
January 28th, 2007
Next Sunday, the 28th of January, is the inaugural Council of Europe Data Protection day.
Our view is Data privacy is something for every individual to look after. Private companies, government, hospitals, all store information on you.
You are entitled to view that information if you want to.
You are entitled by law to have incorrect information about you removed or amended.
Digital Rights Ireland suggests 5 ways to protect your data and personal information.
1. Stop SMS Spam
Did you enter into a competition, put your mobile phone number on a form, or give your number to a company for any reason?
Are you now getting SMS messages about “winning a competition-with no prize”, new services or other information you don’t want to know about?
If so your mobile number has been provided to someone sending SMS spam.
Unsolicited SMS text messages are against the law in Ireland.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner explains simply what the law is regarding unwanted SMS messages.
What can you do?
First, do not delete the message.
You can make a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner, by e-mailing them.
Click here to send then a complaint, with the number the SMS came from, your telephone number, the date and time of the message and the text of the message.
For full details please read the information on making a complaint, or read our guideto dealing with SMS spam.
2. E-Mail the Minister for Justice and request him to stop spying on all Irish individuals.
The Minister for Justice has been responsible for laws requiring telephone companies to track the movements of everyone with a mobile phone and monitor every email you send. Digital Rights Ireland have brought la egal action to stop this.
You can e-mail the Minister for Justice, and ask him to stop.
3. Stop getting junkmail and junk telephone calls
Are you continously receiving unsolicited telephone calls from companies, receiving unsolicited mail from direct marketing companies?
If so, you have the right to have your details removed from that database. You can exercise this right simply by writing to the organisation concerned. The organisation must write back to you within 40 days confirming that they have dealt with your request.
You can also make a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner. Click here to make a complaint via their website
You can read the full “Consumer Guide to Dealing with Unsolicited Direct Marketing” as published by the Data Protection Commissioner here.
4. Make a personal information request.
If a company, mobile phone company, telephone company, insurance company, local authority or any other body has information stored about you, you have the right to obtain a copy, clearly explained, of any information relating to you.
All you need to do is write to the organisation or individual concerned and ask for it. By email is fine.
Your request could read as follows:
I wish to make an access request under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 for a copy of any information you keep about me, on computer or in manual form. I am making this request under section 4 of the Data Protection Acts.
You can read the full guidelines on the Data Protection Commissioners website.
You should note that you may be asked to pay a fee, but this cannot exceed €6.35.
Once you have made your request, and paid any appropriate fee, you must be given the information within 40 days, although most organisations manage to reply much sooner.
5. Donate to Digital Rights Ireland.
Digits Rights Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to defending Civil, Human and Legal rights in a Digital age Your support is greatly needed to help us continue our work.
There are a number of ways you can support us:
1. make an on-going donation.
2. make a once off donation.
3. or buy one of our t-shirts. We have a number to choose from.
And until Sunday 28th January we are dropping the price of the t-shirts to cost price, so make sure you get one now!
Please help us make European Data Protection Day a success. Please tell your friends and family about our work.
January 24th, 2007
You might be wondering why you haven’t heard more about our case against the Government over data retention. This is because the defendants, despite being well out of time, have failed to put in their defence. In non-legal terms, this would be rather like a soccer team simply failing to show up for a match. Why the Government is so reluctant to respond to our case we don’t know – but we’ve given them ample time to do so, and to prevent further stalling we’ve now filed a motion with the court requiring them to put in their defence so we can proceed with our case.
January 19th, 2007