The International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications (IWGDPT) was established in 1983 on the initiative of a number of national data protection authorities in the world. The secretariat has since then been provided by the data protection authority of Berlin (Berliner Datenschutz-beauftragter). Membership in the Group is not limited to national data protection authorities, but extends also to representatives from the private and NGO sectors.
Over the last years, the Group has focused on data protection and privacy related issues of information technology in the wide sense, with a special focus on Internet-related developments.
Best Available Techniques refer to the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation, which indicate the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for complying with the EU data protection framework. They are designed to prevent or mitigate risks on privacy and security.
Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control provides for the following definitions, which could be applied by analogy:
Binding corporate rules (BCRs) are a legal tool that can be used by multinational companies to ensure an adequate level of protection for the intra-group transfers of personal data from a country in the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) to a third country.
The use of BCRs requires, in principle, the approval of each of the EU or EEA data protection authorities from whose country the data are to be transferred.
The Article 29 Working Party has adopted a number of documents to guide companies willing to use this tool:
Biometrics or biometric systems are methods for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioural traits.
Such methods have already been used for a long time. However, the new element which triggers data protection considerations is that a machine can now automatically conduct these methods and possibly recognise humans with measurable accuracy.