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Agency: Data Violations Go Unpunished

DATA PROTECTION—EU

May 10, 2010

The EU's Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has found that data protection authorities (DPAs) suffer from insufficient funds, inadequate staffing levels and a lack of sanctions for violators, AFP reports. The FRA report notes that in several counties, including Austria, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK, "prosecutions and sanctions for violations of data protection law are limited or non-existing" and that national DPAs often lack "full powers of investigation and intervention or the capacity to give legal advice or engage in legal proceedings." The FRA is urging for improvements--specifically with regard to such factors as keeping DPAs independent from government and clarifying data protection law when it overlaps with national security.
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