empirica’s Senior Research Associate Dr. Karl Stroetmann presented an overview of the status quo and progress made on privacy and data protection issues in national eHealth strategies at this year’s Conference on Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) which took place from January 25 to 27 in Brussels, Belgium.
The eHealth Strategies project surveys and analyses national eHealth policies and the progress made in recent years. One of its foci is on eHealth related legal challenges in EU and EEA countries. Apart from outlining objectives and methodology of the overall initiative, Dr. Karl Stroetmann’s talk provided an overview of the situation across Europe concerning privacy issues and data protection. He also made recommendations for the improvement of legal frameworks and infrastructure at the international conference.
In many countries the use of eHealth is currently regulated only by the general legal framework, in particular by laws on patient rights and data protection. New legislation is often still in the process of being enacted, but slowed down by the complex legislative process in various countries. Amongst the forerunners in designing a legal framework adapted to the use of eHealth are Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Norway, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden. Almost all other countries dispose of some regulation on health data, if only through the transposition of article 8 of the EU Data Protection Directive.
The aim of the CPDP 2011 is to create a bridge between policy makers, academics, practitioners and activists. At the three-day event they can exchange ideas and discuss emerging issues of information technology, privacy, data protection and law. This year’s ambitious agenda included twelve panels, a philosophical reading panel and a PhD-evening. In total more than 150 speakers contributed.