The Information Commissioner has published updated and extended guidance on the use of the Data Protection Act's "section 29" exemption, based on cases and wider experience. This exemption is often used to release personal information (such as computer or network logs) to the police or other authorities investigating crimes, so sections 33-52 in particular are worth reading as a refresher.
The points I'm most often asked about are:
A question that comes up from time to time when discussing federated access management is "how can I rely on another organisation to manage accounts for me?". Federation saves services the trouble of managing user accounts by instead delegating the job to an external identity provider, but it's entirely reasonable to think carefully about that. Why should any service trust someone else to manage the keys to its valuable content?
Recently I had a thought-provoking discussion on Twitter (thanks to my guides) on the practice of setting your users phishing tests: sending them e-mails that tempt them to do unsafe things with their passwords, then providing feedback. I've always been deeply ambivalent about this. Identifying phishing messages is hard (see how you do on OpenDNS's quiz), and creating "teachable moments" may well be a good way to help us all learn.
There's a tension between network neutrality - essentially the principle that a network should be a dumb pipe that treats every packet alike - and network security, which may require some packets to be dropped to protect either the network or its users. Some current attacks simply can't be dealt with by devices at the edge of the network: if a denial of service attack is filling your access link with junk then nothing you do at the far end of that link can help.
Since becoming involved in Jisc's work on learning analytics, I've been trying to work out the best place to fit the use of students' digital data to improve education into data protection law. I've now written up those thoughts as a paper, and submitted it to the Journal of Learning Analytics. As the abstract says:
After more than three years of discussion, all three components of the European law making process have now produced their proposed texts for a General Data Protection Regulation should look like.
Last week the European Commission published their proposed new Data Protection legislation. This will now be discussed and probably amended by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers before it becomes law, a process that most commentators expect to take at least two years. There's a lot in the proposal so this post will just cover the general themes.
Scott Roberts of Github gave an excellent talk on Crisis Communications for Incident Response. If you only follow up one talk from the FIRST conference, make it this one: the slides and blog post are both well worth the time. So this post is just the personal five point plan that I hope I'll remember to re-read whenever I’m involved in communicating around an incident: