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The Regulation of Privacy and Data Protection in the Use of Electronic Health Information

The Regulation of Privacy and Data Protection in the Use of Electronic Health Information

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Published by: rodrigur8036 on Dec 03, 2012
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08/06/2013

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The Danish Constitution of 1953 contains two provisions that
have some relevance for privacy and data protection. Section 71

Review of Regulatory Responses:
National Initiatives in the European Union

73

provides for the inviolability of personal liberty and Section 72 states:
"The dwelling shall be inviolable. House searching, seizure, and
examination of letters and other papers as well as any breach of the
secrecy to be observed in postal, telegraph, and telephone matters shall
take place only under a judicial order unless particular exception is
warranted by Statute." [72]. The European Convention on Human Rights
was formally incorporated into Danish law in 1992.

The central rules on data protection in Denmark are found in
two Acts: the Private Registers Act of 1978 governs the private sector
[73] while the Public Authorities Registers Act of 1978 governs the
public sector [74]. The Private Registers Act regulates the registration
and further processing of data on natural persons and on legal persons,
such as private corporations. A bill for a new Data Protection Act to
replace the above two Acts was approved by the Parliament in 1998
[74]. The main purpose of the new legislation is to implement the
requirements of the European Community Directive on data protection.
Accordingly, the new legislation follows closely the Directive. Another
piece of legislation with rules relating to privacy and data protection in
health is the Access to Health Information Act of 1993.

An independent agency, the Data Protection Agency
(Registertilsynet), enforces the Act [76]. The agency supervises
registries established by public authorities and private enterprises in
Denmark. It ensures that the conditions for registration, disclosure, and
storage of data on individuals, and to a certain extent also on private
enterprises, are complied with. It mainly deals with specific cases on the
basis of inquiries from public authorities or private individuals, or cases
taken up by the agency on its own initiative.

Denmark is a member of the Council of Europe and has signed
the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to
Automatic Processing of Personal Data and has signed and ratified the
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms. Denmark is a member of the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development and has adopted the OECD
Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of
Personal Data.

Review of Regulatory Responses:
National Initiatives in the European Union

74

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