Data & It Law Week, vol. 28: data protection in Singapore, Facebook experiment and data protection officer duties

The article gives an overview of the most interesting articles in the area of data & it law.


New Data Protection Act in Singapore

On July 2, new Personal Data Protection went into effect in Singapore. It includes many restrictions, which are available in other similar acts all around the world. However, it is interesting due to several reasons:

–       Data protection is limited only to business, not private individuals

–       Data can be freely imported into Singapore

–       The act enable the collection and use of data “for purposes that would be considered appropriate to a reasonable person in the given circumstances”

In this article, the author argues that this act might serve as a model for future data protection acts in other countries. However, it seems that it takes a different direction than the legislation in Europe.


Facebook experiment with emotions and law

A study revealed that Facebook had manipulated News Feed of a certain amount of its users to make an experiment. Facebook wanted to know the effects of showing mainly positive and mainly negative statuses. By doing so, it tested whether happy or sad posts are contagious.

From the legal point of view, it is worth mentioning, that Facebook´s terms of service say that Facebook can use data for research and they don´t promise unbiased news feed. Other critiques are about an unethical behavior of Facebook. The research should require an informed consent.

However, James Grimmelmann, a law professor at the University of Maryland, concludes, that “I think it would be very difficult for someone to successfully sue Facebook over this.


Data Protection Officer and resulting duties for employers – case from Germany

The Higher Regional Labor Court of Saxony had decided a case about the dismissal of an employee, who argued that he factually worked as a Data Protection Officer. However, he was hired as a “system engineer and consultant”. The problem is that under German law, an appointed Data Protection Officer enjoys special protection against dismissals. The employment may only be terminated for “important reasons”.

Finally, the Court had denied the requested legal protection against the dismissal. The performance of the task is not an equivalent to an appointment as a Data Protection Officer. It is possible to presume that due to an increased importance of data protection officers in Germany, the number of cases and legal problems of such kind would rise.


Quick links

Big data problems of law

E-book about data protection policies for firms

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *