Electronic Data Interchange, Data Protection and the European Community: Implications for the Banking and Insurance Sectors

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb025637
Pages49-57
Publication Date01 Feb 1994
AuthorIndira Mahalingam Carr,Katherine S. Williams
SubjectAccounting & finance
Electronic Data Interchange, Data Protection
and the European Community: Implications
for the Banking and Insurance Sectors
Indira Mahalingam Carr and Katherine
S.
Williams
Indira Mahalingam Carr
is a lecturer in law at Exeter University, a
special lecturer in philosophy at
Nottingham University and Director of
Exeter University Centre for Legal
Interdisciplinary Development (EUCLID).
She edits the journal Law, Computers
and Artificial Intelligence and has
published in the areas of computer law,
international trade law, commercial law
and philosophy.
Katherine S. Williams
is a lecturer and member of Centre for
Computers and Law at the University of
Wales, Aberystwyth. She was a co-
organiser of the Third National
Conference on Law, Computers and
Artificial Intelligence held at Aberystwyth
in
1992.
She has published in the areas
of computers and law, civil liberties,
criminology and criminal justice.
ABSTRACT
Banking and insurance sectors have wit-
nessed an increased use of computers for
transferring all types of information. There is
no uniformity in the extent to which different
Member States of the European Community
(EC) protect a data subject's right to privacy.
The EC has sought to harmonise the dis-
parate laws while trying to maintain a
balance between the free flow of informa-
tion and the individual's right to privacy. This
paper considers in brief some of the
provisions put forward in the revised draft
directive of the Council that are likely to
affect the insurance and business
industries.
ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE
AND DATA PROTECTION
The banking and insurance sectors both
at the national and international level
have seen an increased use of computers
for transmitting information. The ease
with which data can be transferred and
accessed electronically is extremely
attractive but is also a source for con-
cern. Besides general information relat-
ing to the kinds of services offered by
these sectors, details about individuals,
organisations and government bodies are
also transferred through the electronic
network. The information exchange
may take place at an intra-sector level
for instance, between banks
or at an
inter-sector level for instance,
between banks and public bodies like
the
police.
And, as can be expected, some
of the information transmitted may be
of a highly confidential nature. This
raises a number of interesting questions,
some of which are listed below; the
answers to these, however, are largely
dependent on the principles underlying
the right to privacy.1
49

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