The Data Protection Act is in the process of being implemented and in the next few months all large organisations using computers to store personal information about individuals will be required to register with the Data Protection Registrar . . . Right?
Wrong! Under the strict terms of the act. anyone holding such informauon should register. and anyone contravening the act may find themselves facing a fine of up to £2000, or in some cases an unlimited fine! There are very few exemptions to the act and even a simple mailing list or membership list will not escape if it contains such information as occupation. home telephone number, date of birth, etc.
All right, most impressive, but what relevance does it have to the home computer user? In my own case using a computer to record patient details, the need for confidentiality are obvious, but what about the enthusiast who keeps a membership/mailing list for the local squash club or amateur dramatic society? Not very exciting information perhaps but it will probably contain at least a name and address, home, and perhaps work telephone numbers (and therefore a clue to occupation), and maybe even a date of birth. There are very few exemptions to registration. Quote: Personal data held by an individual and "concerned only with the management of his personal, family or household affairs or held by him only for recreational purposes". Such users are unconditionally exempt from registration.
Examples of conditional exemption include, Quote: "data held by unincorporated members clubs relating only to club members" and "data held for distribution of articles or information to the data subjects and consisting only of their names and addresses". Note, these last two are examples of conditional exemption. The data subjects concerned must be consulted as to whether they object to the information being kept and must be consulted before any data is disclosed.
How then best to protect the data and, of course, yourself? Basic security is fairly obvious, don't leave discs or tapes lying around and, proud as you may be of your latest all singing and mail-merging database, be careful who you demonstrate it to! Remember also that computer generated material is just as important so tear up those yards of printout before you chuck them in the wastepaper bin. Finally, to make sure you are not the subject of that fascinating test case that's bound to occur before long, you can obtain full details of the act in (it is claimed) simplified form, for free, from: The Data Protection Registrar, Department 1, Springfield House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AX.
And now my own own small contribuuon to data protection. The following program, designed for use with a disc drive, will scramble ASCII text or program files, including Tasword files, and will cope with most files containing mixed numeric and string data produced by the Amstrad (not Masterfile files unfortunately, as these are in binary format). It accepts a code word of any length (letters only, these are converted to upper case for processing) and for the more paranoid this need not appear on screen. Then the ASCII value of each letter in turn is added to that of successive characters in the data file cycling repeatedly through the codeword until the whole file is scrambled. To unscramble the process is reversed. Written in Basic, the scrambling process takes a short while to complete, but any number of files can be selected for sequential processing.
CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop/cache
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.