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Polish Data Protection Authority recommends encrypting email

22.02.2017

Polish DPA recent opinion on encryption as preferred response to confidentiality risks associated with email.

GIODO (Polish Data Protection Authority) issued recently an opinion on email security.

GIODO underlines risks related to electronic mail as a means of communication.

GIODO underlines raising public awareness of sniffing from public and private organisations. As a response GIODO strongly recommends protecting communications sent via email with cryptographic techniques.

GIODO indicates a few encryption options such as using encryption applications to protect contents of communication (as files) transferred via email. Alternatively GIODO recommends relying on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) where GIODO names PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) as available solutions.

GIODO points to another weak point in protecting electronic mail which is a link between email servers and devices of sender and addressee. GIODO names other potential vulnerabilities as well, such as protection of emails in storage on an email server and issues with authentication.

GIODO expects from data controllers to be aware and to apply adequate means of protection of data in electronic correspondence, even when they are using third party provides of email service.

Issues raised by GIODO and GIODO’s arguments are hard to contest in times of incoming tsunami of cyber threats. As GIODO’s opinion comes in time of implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, it may have enhanced impact on the market practices, including on use of cloud services.

Warsaw, February 2017, Maciej Gawronski, MARUTA WACHTA LAW FIRM

 

Article provided by: Maciej Gawronski, attorney in Poland, Partner in MARUTA WACHTA

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The CPC is a trusted, not-for-profit international network of qualified professionals who deliver simplified and straight-forward guidance to help navigate the legal and regulatory environment relating to privacy and the cloud. This is done through collective know-how, research and market analysis gained from pan-European industry activity, collaboration and experience. Our mission is to provide authoritative views, information and practical solutions to two principal stakeholders: industry professionals and public authorities.