EU organisations 'obstructing own access to data', study finds


A significant minority of organisations in the European Union are deliberately preventing citizens from accessing their own data, according to a major study conducted in the EU.

The research was carried out by a team from the University of Sheffield as part of the IRISS (Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies) project, funded by the European Union.

The team documented the actual process normal citizens would go through when trying to use the law to access data collected on them.

A challenge to privacy

They found out that "serial malpractice and obfuscation" from both public and private entities was common place with a whopping 40% of them trying to obstruct access to data.

Professor Clive Norris, who led the study, said: "The challenge for all of us is that our information is often kept from us, despite the law and despite our best efforts to access it."

He also warned that there is an urgent requirement for policymakers to address the failure of law at the European level and its implementation into national law.

More details about the project, including individual country reports can be found on the IRISS project website.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.