Cornerstone on Information Law is aimed at data protection officers and practitioners in Freedom of Information (‘FOI’)/environmental information; and also at lawyers, who may oversee their work but who are likely to have general rather than specialist knowledge in this area.
FOI/environmental information practitioners are to be found in small teams in most public authorities (eg local and central government, quangos, universities, regulatory bodies). They handle information requests from the public under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. They have to judge when to disclose and to identify when exemptions are available. They are growing in number and status.
Data protection officers exist in all major organisations across both the public and private sectors. Large organisations manage massive amounts of personal data, about their customers and users, their competitors, or their employees; and even medium-sized companies and bodies have to deal with data protection rules. Data protection officers advise their organisations on the handling of “subject access requests” from individuals to see their personal data, and on internal data management issues such as security and length of retention. They too are growing in number, and will acquire statutory status and an enhanced role within their organisations when the new Data Protection Regulation (which is nearing agreement in the EU) is implemented in the next 2-3 years.
A new EU data protection framework is due to come into effect on 25 May 2018. It takes the form of a Regulation – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR will replace the current Directive and will be directly applicable in all Member States without the need for implementing national legislation. Whilst it does not apply until 25 May 2018 it contains some onerous obligations, many of which will take time to prepare for as it will have an immediate impact.
Cornerstone on Information Law a practical guide focussed on data protection law, freedom of information and environmental information regulations, being one of the first books to take account of the GDPR. It provides practical advice to local authorities and small businesses to assist them with getting ready for the new framework going live.