October 30, 2009 By News Report
The EU yesterday moved to the next stage of an infringement proceeding, saying the UK has failed to provide its citizens with the full protection of EU rules on privacy and personal data protection when using electronic communications. "European laws state that EU countries must ensure the confidentiality of people's electronic communications like e-mail or Internet browsing," said the EU in a release, "by prohibiting their unlawful interception and surveillance without the user's consent. As these rules have not been fully put in place in the national law of the UK, the Commission today said that it will send the UK a reasoned opinion."
"People's privacy and the integrity of their personal data in the digital world is not only an important matter, it is a fundamental right, protected by European law," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding in a statement. The European Commission said that there is no independent national authority to supervise interception of communications, and that current UK law authorizes interception of communications not only where the persons concerned have consented to interception but also when the person intercepting the communications has 'reasonable grounds for believing' that consent to do so has been given. The UK has two months to reply. If not resolved, the next step is referral to the European Court of Justice.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.