[Fim4l] RA21's endorsement of the GEANT Data Protection Code of Conduct

Heather Flanagan hlf at sphericalcowconsulting.com
Thu Apr 4 18:40:39 CEST 2019

HI Peter,

> On Apr 4, 2019, at 9:24 AM, Peter Schober <peter.schober at univie.ac.at> wrote:
> * Heather Flanagan <hlf at sphericalcowconsulting.com> [2019-04-04 16:40]:
>> I wrote up a blog post
>> <https://ra21.org/index.php/2019/02/28/ra21-adopts-refeds-data-protection-code-of-conduct/>
>> on the RA21 website about this. 
> Ignoring other nonsensical parts of that endorsement (about applying a
> document that specifically says it's only for EU/EEA "globally,
> regardless of the location") my issue with v1 vs. v2 is this:

I disagree with your categorization that endorsing the principles of a document is nonsense. 

>> On 31 January 2019, the RA21 Security and Privacy Work Group voted
>> to endorse the GEANT Data Protection Code of Conduct v1 (the current
>> approved version)
> "Approved" by whom? Codes of conduct (in both the current and the
> previous European Data Protection regime) only become legal
> instruments if they are approved by the data protection authorities.
> And v1 was never approved as I explained in my previous post.

The GEANT Data Protection Code of Conduct v1 was approved in June 2013 by the eduGAIN Technical Steering Group and announced as such on the REFEDS mailing list. Did that make it a legal document? No. But it set a solid marker on what consists of v1 versus future work. 

> Now, other groups may have "approved" the v1 version but that just
> means "We agree that this is a good idea and we support that it may be
> submitted to the authorities in the hopes that it may be approved by
> them”.

And given the work in the community of REFEDS and eduGAIN, I think this is sufficient for the sake of this particular document. 


> But claiming v1 to be an "approved Code of Conduct" (to raise it above
> a "draft" v2) is mispresenting the status of v1 and ignoring all the
> work the community has put into creating an improved v2.

Completely disagree. We did not misrepresent the status of v1, thus the emphasis on principles and not an assumption of legal language, and it did not ignore the work going into v2 as we explicitly said to watch for that to develop. Mikael Linden and Nicole Harris were on the RA21 S&P call to discuss this with the group; the decisions were not made without expert consultation.


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