Consent in Data Protection Law: Privacy, Fair Processing and Confidentiality

Conference paper

In the context of a rapidly developing Information Society, the Data Protection Directive1 seems both well-intentioned and timely: it reflects a rights-based approach to privacy and to the fair, accurate, transparent and proportionate processing of personal data.2 Yet, in England, as in the United States, EU data protection law has few friends3, – for example, in the Naomi Campbell case, one of the first opportunities for the English appeal courts to comment on the local implementing legislation, Lord Phillips MR described the Data Protection Act, 1998, as ‘cumbersome and inelegant’.4 If the Act were thought to be making a positive contribution to the social and economic well-being of the nation, then the lawyers might have to bear this particular cross. After all, there is plenty of legislation that fits Lord Phillips’ description. However, the lawyers are not on their own. The fact of the matter is that data protection law has been subjected to a sustained chorus of criticism, especially from the public health and medical professionals who contend, at their most extreme, that compliance with the Act is ‘killing patients’.5


Personal Data Data Protection Data Subject Fair Processing Informational Privacy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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