The other day I posted about what seem to be an admission by the Government that it intended to allow foreign countries access to not just the ID card database but also the DNA database.
Since then this rather dry, but worrying, document from the EU has been brought to my attention. It essentially outlines proposals for data sharing and access in the proposed European Police Force (Europol) which states the intention of Europol to store data from comercial parties e.g. loyalty cards, for six months irrespetive of whether it is relevant to a criminal investigation.
In a rather amsuing sentence it says that "the processing of personal data whose relevance have not yet been assessed is strictly limited to the puprose of assessing its relevance". I have to admit I spent a while scratching my head trying to understand the sentence. I then realised that what they were saying was personal data should be stored on the presumption that it might become relevant at some point in the future irrespective of its relevance at the time it is stored.
The document also outlines that the European Data Protection Supervisor should have supremacy over memebr states Data Protection laws on matters of deciding what access people can have to data stored on them.
It all sort of puts Joan's Ryan answer about data sharing in some context somewhat.