‘Fake news, data leaks, trolls, bye bye Facebook, privacy legislation... terminology that is right now dominating the news. The discussion regarding news coverage and principally all its platforms, the new media, seem to be going over the top’, KFPS Director Ids Hellinga states in his column in the May Phryso.
‘Opponents of social media exploit these events to prove they’re definitely in the right, just like the conspiracy theorists who fear the omnipresent eye of ‘Big brother’. Others simply shrug their shoulders with a pitying look and dismiss it as no more and no less than the growing pains of the information era we live in. In the meantime governments have become involved in the discussion and new legislation will inevitably emerge. Let’s just hope that the quality of the interrogations of Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg by the American Congress won’t set the norm for the quality of the legislation by that same Congress. No matter what your thoughts on this are, the consequences will be felt by everybody. The Studbook is no exception. Even though it’s still fairly unclear how far-reaching the effects of the Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming ((AVG) General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, ed.) actually are, we will most certainly feel the pinch too. It’s evident that organisations, the KFPS included, have to treat information and data with the utmost confidentiality, especially when dealing with privacy-sensitive information. The KFPS therefore handles this sort of information with great care. A common situation for instance is that the owner of a horse wishes to get in touch with the breeder and contacts the Studbook to ask for the phone number. Even though such requests are usually done with the best intentions in mind, we won’t provide this kind of information. Also common but more generally accepted for example, is to list names and addresses of breeders and owners of a horse in the inspection catalogue. No one has ever objected to this practice. Which is only natural, for in a way this also facilitates trade. Seen in that light it’s odd that we have indeed received complaints about listing the name of a horse’s breeder under ‘horse data’ in MYKFPS on the website. Apparently we are more reluctant to share digital data than information provided in conventional, ‘analogue’ publications in print, whereas at the end of the day there’s hardly any difference. This is why for some time now breeder information is no longer visible in MYKFPS. The Studbook is considering to give members the option to specify individually where breeder- and/or owner information can be published. For those who decide against the publication of such data we also have to consider adjusting the name giving of foals because stable names and letter(s) behind the name also reveal details about origin. The new AVG is one of the subjects we would like to discuss at the regional meetings.’