CHAPTER 1: A BRIEF HISTORY OF DATA PROTECTION

The common conception of data protection is a very modern notion. We think of digitally stored databases and records, and we understand the importance of protecting them. It’s obvious: digital records have no physical weight, and can be mislaid or stolen without removing the original, and it’s easy to comprehend that such a loss could represent an enormous amount of information. This isn’t the way it’s always been, though, and even today information in other formats needs to be protected.

Possibly the earliest forms of data and privacy protection come from the professions rather than legislation itself. Lawyer-client confidentiality (or legal professional privilege, as it’s called in the UK), for ...

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