Sources of literature on data protection and human rights
journal contributionposted on 04.10.2012, 13:53 by Adam WarrenAdam Warren, James A. Dearnley, Charles Oppenheim
In this paper, we analyse and discuss the current state of knowledge and research concerning data protection, human rights and the right to privacy within the workplace. This follows on from recent legislation in this area, in particular the 1995 European Data Protection Directive, the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and the UK Human Rights Act 1998. Although drawing reference to a number of studies conducted around the world, this paper focuses on legislation in the United Kingdom. It assesses whether the recent legislation potentially offers adequate protection for individual privacy, providing concluding remarks on the experience so far. The paper is split into three sections concerning the research issues surrounding: the Data Protection Act; the Human Rights Act; and privacy in the workplace. Landmark studies that help define information privacy have been identified. Additionally, sources of information regarding legal text, current awareness and so-called 'grey literature' have been discussed and analysed. The paper concludes that there is some uncertainty with the new legislation, especially in regard to the use of personal data in employer-employee relationships. Nevertheless, certain strands can be identified. Firstly, the tension between the competing interests of personal privacy and the ability of organisations to use personal data in their day to day activities. Secondly, the possible development - in the absence of explicit privacy legislation - of privacy common law by the UK courts. Finally, the regulatory morass regarding privacy in the workplace. Yet, in spite of ambiguity over the course of recent legislation, there is a flourishing and vibrant debate in this field - with contributions from civil liberties organisations, the quality press, academics and discussion groups.
- Information Science