Friday 26 February 2021

Companies turn to courts to keep reports secret: privacy watchdog

Protection concept: computer keyboard with Closed PadlockCompanies and organisations are increasingly going to court to try to stop the publication of details about the way they deal with privacy issues, according to the head of the Dutch privacy watchdog CBP.

Jacob Kohnstamm says the companies are worried about the impact on their reputation if the public are made aware of how they deal with private information.

Now he wants the government to bring in legislation forcing the CBP to publish its research reports. ‘There are currently four cases before the courts,’ he said. ‘This puts a lot of pressure on our legal department. A requirement to publish would be a great support.’

In addition, compulsory publication would increase transparency and make citizens more aware of privacy issues, he said.

Companies and governments are increasingly reliant on consumer profiles, he said. ‘We are not always aware of this,’ he said. ‘If I steal your wallet, you know about it. But if I steal your data, it is not quite so obvious.’

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