The venue of the 28th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners' Conference has been changed recently, and will be held next week in London, United Kingdom, on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2006.
The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, welcomes his colleagues and counterparts from around the world, to the conference whose theme is "A Surveillance Society?', with these words:
Whilst I cannot promise the sunshine of Buenos Aires, I can promise that by coming to the United Kingdom you will be visiting a country with over 4 million CCTV cameras. Visiting London, you will be staying in a city able to monitor its citizens as they travel around the capital by car or on the Underground system. But London is also a city that has witnessed the kind of terrorist atrocities that spark calls for governments to do more and more to protect its citizens.
We may well pop down to the conference venue to see if we can chat to some of these privacy and data protection experts, and to warn the rest of the world not to repeat the surveillance sociiety mistakes which the current Government is inflicting on us.
Is it just a coincidence that the conference venue location, the Riverbank Park Plaza hotel is literally within line of sight of the Security Service (MI5) building, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) building and one of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) offices formerly occupied by the now merged NCIS (National Criminal Intelligence Service) ?
Sir Stephen Lander, the ex-Director General of MI5 and now Chair of SOCA, is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the conference.
Who will be keeping the privacy and data protection commissioners under surveillance ?