Privacy and the Precautionary Principle
Computer Law & Security Review, Vol. 28, pp. 14-24, 2012
21 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 1, 2011
The precautionary principle – which implies that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing protective measures – has been adopted as a standard of environmental and health protection in international and European legislation. This article offers an overview of the precautionary principle as a legal standard applicable to European privacy and data protection legislation. For this reason, it takes particularly into account the guidelines of this legislation as well as the privacy impact assessment framework, raised by the European Commission through the Recommendation on Radio-Frequency Identification applications. In brief, the article stresses the role of the precautionary principle in improving privacy protection through liability, prudence and transparency.
Keywords: PIA, precautionary principle, privacy, privacy impact assessment
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