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European body calls for tougher regulations for WEEE

Second-hand waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) should be banned from being resold if personal data has not been properly wiped, believes the European Data Supervisor.

The privacy watchdog’s Peter Hustinx has called for the European Commission to address data protection risks when the previous user’s personal data has not been deleted and can be accessed by third parties when recasting the WEEE directive. He said that the initiative must include measures to stop the possibility of owner information being taken through inappropriate disposal, reuse or recycling rather than focus on environmental issues.

A regulation to design-in inexpensive technology into WEEE, which allows users to delete personal data before disposal should also be added to the directive.

Hustinx said: “It is important to take into account the potentially damaging effects of WEEE disposal on the protection of personal data stored in used equipment. Respect for security measures and a ‘privacy by design’ approach should be seen as essential pre-conditions in order to effectively guarantee the right to the protection of personal data.”

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