It concludes with a list of the main problems encountered by the Expert Group in its work. The first contains comments on certain general features of the Guidelines, the second detailed comments on individual paragraphs. The 1970s may be described as a period of intensified investigative and legislative activities concerning the protection of privacy with respect to the collection and use of personal data.

This Memorandum is an information document, prepared to explain and describe generally the work of the Expert Group. It cannot vary the meaning of the Guidelines but is supplied to help in their interpretation and application. Numerous official reports show that the problems are taken seriously at the political level and at the same time that the task of balancing opposing interests is delicate and unlikely to be accomplished once and for all.

OECD Council Recommendation RECOMMENDATION OF THE COUNCIL CONCERNING GUIDELINES GOVERNING THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY AND TRANSBORDER FLOWS OF PERSONAL DATA (23 September 1980) THE COUNCIL, Having regard to articles 1(c), 3(a) and 5(b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14th December, 1960; RECOGNISING: Determined to advance the free flow of information between Member countries and to avoid the creation of unjustified obstacles to the development of economic and social relations among Member countries; RECOMMENDS: (back to top of page) Annex to the Recommendation of the Council of 23rd September 1980: GUIDELINES GOVERNING THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY AND TRANSBORDER FLOWS OF PERSONAL DATA PART ONE. For the purposes of these Guidelines: a) "data controller" means a party who, according to domestic law, is competent to decide about the contents and use of personal data regardless of whether or not such data are collected, stored, processed or disseminated by that party or by an agent on its behalf; b) "personal data" means any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual (data subject); c) "transborder flows of personal data" means movements of personal data across national borders. These Guidelines apply to personal data, whether in the public or private sectors, which, because of the manner in which they are processed, or because of their nature or the context in which they are used, pose a danger to privacy and individual liberties. These Guidelines should not be interpreted as preventing: 4.

The disparities in legislation may create obstacles to the free flow of information between countries.

Such flows have greatly increased in recent years and are bound to continue to grow as a result of the introduction of new computer and communication technology.

Restrictions on these flows could cause serious disruption in important sectors of the economy, such as banking and insurance.

For this reason, OECD Member countries considered it necessary to develop Guidelines which would help to harmonise national privacy legislation and, while upholding such human rights, would at the same time prevent interruptions in international flows of data. Kirby, Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Public interest has tended to focus on the risks and implications associated with the computerised processing of personal data and some countries have chosen to enact statutes which deal exclusively with computers and computer-supported activities.

Other countries have preferred a more general approach to privacy protection issues irrespective of the particular data processing technology involved. The remedies under discussion are principally safeguards for the individual which will prevent an invasion of privacy in the classical sense, i.e.Its purpose is to explain and elaborate the Guidelines and the basic problems of protection of privacy and individual liberties.It draws attention to key issues that have emerged in the discussion of the Guidelines and spells out the reasons for the choice of particular solutions.Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland have prepared draft bills) to prevent what are considered to be violations of fundamental human rights, such as the unlawful storage of personal data, the storage of inaccurate personal data, or the abuse or unauthorised disclosure of such data.On the other hand, there is a danger that disparities in national legislations could hamper the free flow of personal data across frontiers; these flows have greatly increased in recent years and are bound to grow further with the widespread introduction of new computer and communications technology.The OECD, which had been active in this field for some years past, decided to address the problems of diverging national legislation and in 1978 instructed a Group of Experts to develop Guidelines on basic rules governing the transborder flow and the protection of personal data and privacy, in order to facilitate the harmonization of national legislation. The Guidelines are broad in nature and reflect the debate and legislative work which has been going on for several years in Member countries.