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Privacy law is the law that deals with the protection and preservation of individual privacy right.
Currently I live in UK, so I will be discussing the privacy laws in UK.
Below are the specific protections for privacy that the UK Parliament provided (Leeds, 1997):
Consumer Credit Act 1974, sections 158-160: This helps in regulating the greater part of credit agreements. The regulating of credit agreements in this Act does not cover the followings: mortgages, loans secured on property, short term agreements and charge cards (What Consumer, 2008).
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974: This is a legislation that affects employment opportunities of ex-offenders which are those that have been convicted for criminal offence before and they have been reconvicted since then during a specific period which is known as rehabilitation period. This will wipe out their criminal records and during the time they want to fill any employment application form they have the right to say no that they have not been convicted before. This Act does not those that want to work with children and vulnerable adults; you need to disclose all your criminal records (Criminal Records Bureau, 2010).
Data Protection Act 1998: The main purpose of this Act is aim in protecting individuals against any possible misuse of information about them held by others. Data Protection Act 1998 contains eight principles that make the information of any individual to be handled properly. The principles stated that personal data should (Department of Health, 2009):
- be moderately and legally processed;
- be processed for the stated purpose that is meant for;
- be adequate, relevant and not excessive;
- be accurate and must be kept up-to-date without you using out-dated one;
- there is no need to keep the data for a long time;
- be processed in accordance with data subject's rights;
- need to be kept more secure;
- there should adequate protection in place before any data will be transferred to other countries
Interception of Communications Act 1985: This has to do with preventing the interception of your communication through the public or private telephone calls. This Act is governed under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Your Right, n.d.).
Protection from Harassment Act 1997: This type of legislation give you protection in your neighborhood area when there is disputes, any cases of racial harassment, you being bullied at work, when there is stalking, and relentless unnecessary telephone calls (Your Right, n.d.).
When you UK privacy laws with that Nigeria privacy laws, there is big gap in Nigeria data protection Act, the following are well noted (Akinsuyi, 2007):
- There is no clear description of what make up personal data;
- The right to privacy is not identified at all;
- There is no description of what make up data subjects rights;
- And so on.
- Akinsuyi Franklin (2007) Data Protection Legislation for Nigeria, The Time is Now! [Online] Available from http://www.nigerianmuse.com/20071004075550zg/articles/Data_Protection_Legislation_for_Nigeria_The_Time_is_Now_ (Accessed: 9 April 2010)
- Criminal Records Bureau (2010) What is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974? [Online] Available from http://www.crb.homeoffice.gov.uk/about_crb/what_is_the_roa.aspx (Accessed: 9 April 2010)
- Department of Health (2009) Data Protection Act 1998 [Online] Available from http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Managingyourorganisation/Informationpolicy/Recordsmanagement/DH_4000489 (Accessed: 9 April 2010)
- Leeds (1997) Princess Diana, Privacy Laws and Press Freedom The United Kingdom [Online] Available from http://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/hamlyn/princess.htm (Accessed: 9 April 2010)
- What Consumer (2008) Consumer Credit Act [Online] Available from http://whatconsumer.co.uk/consumer-credit-act-1974/?gclid=CPOkm5PU96ACFYmY2Aodcjouhw (Accessed: 9 April 2010)
- Your Right (n.d.) Protection from Harassment Act 1997 [Online] Available from http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/privacy/harassment-unwanted-letters-and-telephone-calls/protection-from-harassment-act-1997.shtml (Accessed: 9 April 2010)
- Your Right (n.d.) Telephone tapping and interception of communications [Online] Available from http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/privacy/telephone-tapping-and-interception-of-communications/index.html (Accessed: 9 April 2010)