Wednesday 29 October 2014

Data Protection: A Litigation View

Data protection is normally presented from a risk/compliance point of view and, indeed, it is an essential part of a firm's responsibility to their clients. Information professionals should be involved with these compliance duties and be familiar with processes and principles. However, what about the litigation point of view? Yesterday David Glen of 1 Brick Court took us though some recent legal developments but any errors in law or omissions in sense are all mine!

The Data Protection Act 1998 was formed out of the EU Data Protection Directive (also known as Directive 95/46/EC). For the first decade of its existence, it caused a stir as a new area of law but then, litigation-wise, essentially discarded. Data protection has been seen as a secondary cause, offering a peripheral remedy after remedies that libel and misuse of information offer.

David believed that this is shifting and we will be seeing a change in the future. He suggested that people are far more aware of their personal data protection rights because of increased discussion in the press. The increased willingness of the judiciary to apply the data protection thresholds is also key; Tugendhat J. has turned it into a radical issue. The final case (below) that he discussed applies the DPA's already broad issue of fairness in an even wider way.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Walead Beshty at the Barbican

Too many lectures not enough art was the verdict yesterday. With the coming of the darkness, rather than listening to words, it was time to exercise the eyes and imagination. And what better way to escape the inky night than head towards the mysterious and overwhelming blue at the Barbican?
Blue, as the National Gallery showed us earlier in the year, used to be one of the most expensive and show off colours in the colour spectrum. It is also, I find, one of the easiest ways of lifting the spirits; to lie in the green, whilst looking at the blue is a happy experience. So to see an entire curve of white and blue, was at once earthly and unearthly.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Mining Literature: Digging Deep or Merely Opencast?

I was genuinely excited about the Mining Literature event, which is part of the Arts & Humanities Festival at King's College London. The blub burbled, 'this panel discussion will explore the representation of mining and miners in literature with examples drawn from the Renaissance to the present. We will discuss the ways in which the labour, science, technology and social history of mining have dug their way into English, American, Canadian and Australian literature'.
After completing a dissertation which looked at mining as part of an interdisciplinary exploration of an art/science object, I felt a kind of relief that other people were using 'mining' as part of their studies. Because, frankly, it's a niche topic and I had no idea that others were interested.

Friday 17 October 2014

A Brief History of the Dance Floor

The things I do in the pursuit of the new. This weekend saw me watching Strictly Come Dancing for the first time; a mostly enjoyable experience in the company of best friends and some purple alcohol. Whether the colour of my drink affected my perception of the garish swirling and artificial tans, I could actually see how guiltily addictive such a programme could become. So when I saw that there was a lecture on the secret history of the dance floor at Kings College London, I signed up immediately. How, I wanted to know, had popular dance become a vast box of living Quality Street?

1234 Get on the Dance Floor (2013) filled the old Anatomy Lecture Theatre and Bollywood lived! The catchy nonsensical international lyrics, the colour, movement and rhythm and we were almost back with Strictly, which demonstrates the universality of the themes Professor Ananya Kabir was picking up. The dance floor is transnational, a home for signature moves in a potentially foreign vernacular, a sacred/key place on which you are urged to get, with an unlikely coupling up being a possible goal.