The DPA forms part of a comprehensive and harmonized European legal framework for the regulation of the processing of personal data. This framework is a consequence of work done by the Council of Europe and the EC. Of course, data protection laws can be found outside of Europe too.
Wherever they are found, data protection laws have two principal aims. These are:
The protection of privacy during the processing of personal data.
The maintenance of free flows of personal data between countries. This requires the elimination of obstacles to the free flow of personal data between countries that are based solely on the protection of privacy.
These dual aims ...