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Oh for a written constitution? Is Germany leading the way?

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
2 March 2010

According to the ever useful Open Europe press summary Germany's constitutional court has ruled that its country's interpretation of EU rules on data retention breach its Constitution

The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that the German law implementing the EU's Data Retention Directive breaches the German Constitution. However, the Court ruled against the implementation of the Directive, rather than the Directive itself. The Court ruled that the retention of information is permitted only under strict rules of Constitutional law, if someone's life or freedom were in danger, and therefore all data collected before yesterday's ruling under the Directive must be immediately erased.
 
Prior to this decision, internet providers and telecommunication companies were obliged by the Directive to store telephone numbers, emails and internet connections of all citizens for six months without needing a concrete reason. The judges ruled that the implementation of the Directive provided "neither adequate data security, nor sufficient boundaries on the application of data retention.
 See AP

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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