21 January 2011

Of Sushi and Data Protection


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Just ordered a large set of sake sushi on the phone.


Credit: Ricardo Bernardo

Again, I had run a long day and needed some refreshment. I rang up, could order pretty fast and felt well-served.

Besides one thing.

They knew who I was and where I lived. I was not even supposed to tell them my name… Strange, I thought, and started speculating how could those guys have obtained my personal data. Could that be, since I have ordered there already? However, what was even more worrying: what were/are they going to do with that?

Why am I concerned? Because I do not like to represent a record in a database whose existence I could not even assume. This is the reason why data controllers have an explicit obligation to obtain data subjects’ (written) consent prior to processing their data. Otherwise such processing is not lawful according to our fancy legislation on data protection.

To the best of my knowledge, I have never allowed the sushi restaurant to process my data. In order to be absolutely sincere, I checked their website while composing this blog post. Their general terms and conditions are just as silent as the fish they make sushi of.

It is funny, but data protection provisions were once introduced to oppose the dealings of state agents. Nowadays data traders are their primary objective and that does not surprise, since data are considered tradable commodities. Some of them are – depending on their exposure to the public – deemed really precious.

So, I will let those sushi makers know of their lack to comply with stringent law. I thought of writing them an email so I will not forget to tell them how good their sushi was.

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