Thursday 24 April 2014

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Stientje van Veldhoven: EU should free up public transport data for development of EU-wide travel planning app

Posted by on 21/04/14

Dutch MP Stientje van Veldhoven has urged the European Commission to make the data of Europe’s railway companies freely available (“open data”) so that app developers can start creating a Europe-wide travel planning app. “A European-wide travel app will make international travel by rail more accessible and customer-friendly,” she told the Dutch lower house of parliament on Tuesday (15 April 2014). “At present, you cannot plan your onward connection to Paris while on the train to Brussels,” Van Veldhoven, a member of the “Democrats 66” party (the Dutch “LibDems”), said. The EU comprises some 2700 destinations which can be reached by rail but anyone who’s ever tried knows from experience that planning a railway trip is far from easy, she said, noting available websites are complicated and anything but user-friendly.

Source: https://www.d66.nl/actueel/europese-commissie-moet-werk-maken-van-eu-reisplanner/

 

Die europäische Massen/Kassenspeicherung von Veratsdaten

Posted by on 09/04/14

Die Massenspeicherung von Vorratsdaten – ohne jeden Anlass – ist europaweit gescheitert. Die Sprache der Luxemburger Richter ist deutlich: Von besonders schwerwiegenden Grundrechtseingriffen, vom Gefühl ständiger Überwachung des Privatlebens ist die Rede. Das ist bemerkenswert! Denn die Richter stellen klar: Es geht hier nicht nur um den Schutz personenbezogener Daten, sondern es geht an die Substanz, es geht um die Verletzung des Rechts auf Privatleben.

Mit diesem vernichtenden Urteil sollten doch alle Hardliner und Falken spätestens jetzt eines begriffen haben: Eine Strafverfolgung, die kein Recht auf Privatleben mehr kennt, verstößt gegen fundamentale Bürgerrechte und hat mit einem Rechtsstaat überhaupt nichts mehr gemein. Das Urteil ist eine Niederlage für alle, die stets die Alternativlosigkeit der Vorratsdatenspeicherung propagierten und die Unschuldsvermutung geradezu in ihr Gegenteil verkehrten. Gesiegt hat dagegen die Grundrechte-Charta. Es ist die Verteidigung der noch jungen europäischen Verfassung, die diesen Namen verdient.

Für Bürgerrechtler aber, die zu Zigtausenden vor die Gerichte zogen, kann es nur ein Etappensieg sein. Denn der Europäische Gerichtshof stellt das Prinzip der Vorratsdatenspeicherung nicht grundsätzlich in Frage. Die Richter stießen sich nur daran, dass zu viele Daten, zu ungenau, zu wenig begrenzt und ungenügend kontrolliert gespeichert werden. So ähnlich hatte auch das Bundesverfassungsgericht, das die deutsche Regelung 2010 kippte, argumentiert.

Wie geht es nun also weiter? Die EU-Richtlinie von 2006 war von Anfang an rechtswidrig. So viel ist klar. Das heißt aber auch für den europäischen Gesetzgebungsprozess: Alles auf Anfang, unter den Vorgaben der Luxemburger Richter. Deutschland hat als einziger EU-Staat die Richtlinie bisher nicht umgesetzt und handelte sich deshalb ein Vertragsverletzungsverfahren ein. Die Regierung müsste den Richtern heute dankbar sein, denn dieses Verfahren ist mit ihrem Urteil obsolet geworden.

Makulatur ist nun allerdings auch der Passus im Koalitionsvertrag von Union und SPD, ein neues Gesetz zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung zu zimmern. Die Grundlage dafür ist, wie wir jetzt wissen, schlicht entfallen und die politische Debatte in der gesamten EU muss von vorn beginnen. Mit der ausufernden Überwachung ohne jeden Verdacht, deren Exzesse der NSA-Skandal ans Licht brachte, muss endlich Schluss sein. Die Vorratsdatenspeicherung gehört deshalb dorthin, wo sie am besten aufgehoben wäre: Auf den Müllplatz der Geschichte.

Europe’s Blind Eye to Turkey’s Social Media Hostility

Posted by on 06/04/14

Governments, media and public opinion in Europe have massively condemned Turkey’s decision to ban access to twitter and youtube from the country’s 74 million citizens. An estimate of 45% of Turks however  is still supporting Erdogan and will most likely lead his party to an electoral victory, regardless of the shocking incident. Ironically, Erdogan is a hero for them after this extreme hit against their own freedom of speech, even their human rights as it was exaggerated in Europe. We have been fixating on Erdogan, unwilling to accept a country’s view on social media and the internet and, by reflection, evaluate our own.

As Europeans we have the option to juxtapose these two extreme points of view (ours and the Turks’) either with the arrogance of generalization, classifying the country as the exotic opposition to western democracy – a China apparently – or observe closer what is different between us and the Turks without rushing into the dismissal of some 35 million neighbors’ opinion. What  better reason to do so when our own leaders have been proclaiming a multicultural vision for Europe as the only way for our united continent to move ahead.  We should compare our claim – the “human right” to tweet (!) –  with what these people believe in and finally make up our minds about how much can we accept of a different culture, how deep or shallow can European multiculturalism be.

There are two important aspects of the Turkish social media ban that have been kept off the spotlight these days demonstrating how problematic European thought may be.  The first one is the pragmatic value of social media in Turkey.  Just like in many country markets, even within the European Union, social media’s influence in Turkey has been extremely weak, mostly in terms of how large  the percentage of the population actually using them is.  What  better way to understand this than the market value these internet-based companies have. Marketeers still dismiss the social media channel as non-important in the country, as they have done for other countries with higher social media user participation (Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal, just to name a few).  It is highly debatable on  how influential social media really are in these countries, where marketeers have never boldly invested on. In the case of Turkey, other than an enthusiastic liberal audience (or broadly left for the country’s standards), social media has never become mainstream, neither in quantity, nor in quality.

That is not to say that there isn’t or there won’t be growth. The slower pace however allows Turkey to observe  foreign market reaction to social media, offering a previously “tested” understanding on what could be the benefits and side-effects of social media and the internet market in general for their society.  Let’s not forget that the privilege to handpick, to choose what is functionally useful from the west and cultivate it in parallel with their eastern tradition is mostly based on this time delay, a “privilege” most likely responsible for the country’s recent decades developement of  a very creative economic model – which left the country unharmed from the global crisis.

It is highly doubtful that social media could ever harm Erdogan’s party either. Adopting the popular doctrine that sees twitter as an activist tool against censorship would be on this case a statistical impossibility. Erdogan therefore is not trying to hide information and protect his party by banning social media as we Europeans would like to believe, he is creating a very popular impression  based on the public’s negative opinion about social media. An opinion that is as partial and extreme as ours.

It is social media’s  side-effects that made Erdogan’s rhetoric impress its voters. Based on the notion of national security – the second fact presented by european media in an obscure culture-phobic way, classifying it as banala nationalism – his point is that allowing a platform  like twitter to exist in his country would be against the constitution and have a negative impact on the country’s legislation system. Why should this be a strange argument to us?  A service like twitter offered in a country on the basis of an agreement between user and provider that falls under foreign and private legislation – almost ignoring local legislation –  has also been a European and global policy headache.

One very simple but serious implication example: the fact that a person cannot legally defend themselves against slander in his country simply because anonymity is a right in the provider’s country  - the United States – has often made many European skeptics, including politicians, believe that the price citizens must pay for this supposed freedom of speech – supposed because twitter has the right to ban any user, any time, subject to their private company rules –  is much higher.

Observations over the internet’s dynamic clearly indicate an even more concerning fact: private companies surpassing and even shaping legislation ( remember that Erdogan also banned Google’s DNS, but this not falling under the sensational category of “freedom of speech” was not discussed much by media).  Since internet companies have a physical entity somewhere, these issues have taken a national nature for more than a decade, pointing the finger in the United States. Why are Erdogan’s national security claims mere popularism for us despite our similar national agenda? Perhaps because issues of this sort would never be popular  among European citizens?

Europe only recently adapted a concern about the US dominance over the internet, a concern that still focuses on an infrastructural level however, turning a blind eye on the culturally sweeping effect this dominance has. And while Europe’s approach is a market-based one (we do not question the way it is done, we just demand a share over it), Erdogan is also concerned about content control, the immediate result of the techonological and market dominance of one country. His claim, regardless of its motivation or whether we like the kind of democracy he may be defending, is solid enough to make all of us wonder what right does one nation have to intervene in the judgments of another  but more importantly, based on which country’s legal or cultural frame do we decide on how individuals, business interests and moral principles are protected?

Do these questions matter for Europeans anymore?

Erdogan’s priority may or may not be to defend his citizen’s values,what is certain however is that he does want to challenge an intrusive market tactic and demonstrate  his way on claiming his country’s share over the internet without presupposing an American superiority – a presumption we have made long time ago when we surrendered the weapons of competition and created internet policy without the frame that would allow us to be as technologically creative as the United States are. On the contrary, we have created a frame that accepts our de facto inability to assert our share over the internet in order to be in the position to shape its environment.  And we don’t seem to mind accepting this inability at any cost, legal or cultural.

Turkish politicians must face the clash between their peoples culture and the western culture of the internet that aggressively penetrates markets and societies. Unlike Europeans, this clash is an opportunity for the Turks, giving them time to choose how active their role on the internet as a nation may be. As they have successfully done on an economy level in the past, they will raise walls and open windows at the same time. And Leaders will find people to support them. We on the other hand must take a deep breath, pause our over-enthusiasm and reflect on our own culture before caring so blindly about the rights of others on tweeting. They – and we – also have the right  to choose a role as net citizens that goes even a few steps further than being passive consumers.

Welcome to Cuban Twitter, unlawful courtesy of US government

Posted by on 05/04/14

United States government created a communications network in an effort to undermine Cuba’s communist government with help of humanitarian agency USAID. If true, the program directly opposes the Declaration of Human Rights which advocates unregulated flow of information:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; … without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

The idea of ZunZuneo program, named after the Cuban slang for a hummingbird’s tweet, was to gradually start introducing political messages and inspire Cubans to trigger Arab Spring-like mass protests.

Let us remember that UN Resolution 110 condemns all forms of propaganda, either designed or likely to provoke, or encouraging any threat to peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression.  Let us also remember that accurate news reporting is required and propaganda is condemned (UN Resolutions 127 and 2) by international law.

I quoted some basic documents that were agreed upon in the international community right after World War II and which form the foundation of UN system and attempt to peaceful coexistence of nation states. Digital diplomacy proves that technically there are means available which can undermine the agreed behaviour among nation states. Politically, use of such means is unacceptable by outside powers regardless of the foreign power’s intention and presidential approval of the program.  US, as any other state, act under the constrains of  international law, even if some lawyers claim that international law should not prevent US from achieving its foreign policy objectives. Even worse than this aggressive unilateralism is the abuse of humanitarian organisation USAID for the unlawful actions.

How unlawful?

We must just come to terms that certain computer activities amount to an unlawful intervention, e.g. cyber propaganda activities aimed at fomenting civil upraising in a target state and interference with elections, for example. Also they are not in tune with UN Declaration on Non-intervention:

“The right of states and peoples to have free access to information and to develop fully, without interference, their system of information and mass media, and to use their information media in order to promote their political, social, economic, and cultural interests and aspirations.”

These principles are also summarised in the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States according to which each state has the right to choose its political, social and economic system, leading to corresponding information and communication system and states’ information authority.

Also the Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union obliges the states to stop communications dangerous to state security. As one USAID document quoted by the Associated Press put it, the overall aim of the US program was to renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society,” which affects the security of people, business and the state. I firmly believe that such changes must come from within.

Due to numerous dubious activities carried out by various US agencies there is a question if they get any advice from the Attorney General and his Office of Legal Counsel about the ongoing cyber operations abroad. If the President, both State Secretaries and different congressional committees including, Intelligence Committee, were unaware of the computer exploitation actions abroad, the whole system might really be on auto-pilot.

 

Look across borders for a secure digital world

Posted by on 02/04/14

The Post online letter published on 27 March 2014

From John Higgins and Lotte de Bruijin

The dust of the Nuclear Security Summit has descended. The world has an additional number of arrangements for security. Next year, the Netherlands will host the Fourth International Cyberspace Conference. This Ministerial Conference is an opportunity to also make the world digitally safer.

The open Internet has led to an incredible contribution to economic growth and brings people from all over the world closer together, every day. Within the next five years 30 billion devices and sensors together form the ‘Internet of Things’. With the Netherlands as Digital Gateway to Europe this offers a wealth of new opportunities for economy and society.

This can only be realized if there is trust in the digital economy. This trust is undermined if users are wondering who they can trust online, if it is not clear who has access to data or if data is stored safe on the Internet.

In response to this, there is a call within countries to initiate own measures to keep data secure and to guard systems against cyber attacks. For example to start building a separated Internet or to only allow data to be stored in their own country. This is not the right way.

Almost nothing is as international as the Internet. It is built on international foundations, systems, devices and software. This development is not just confined to borders but takes place all over the world. Dutch software companies export annually 2 billion. Dutch industry is looking far across borders and is like no other active abroad. There is almost no country where Dutch companies are not active.

Yes, cybercriminals operate internationally: an attack that is today focused on Brazil can hit the Netherlands tomorrow. In addition, cyber criminals use the same internet to start attacks from various countries And not nearly all of these countries have their law enforcement arranged properly.

International cooperation is therefore an important key in creating a safer digital domain where the user benefits with trust. This requires international agreements. More than other countries, the Netherlands will benefit from them.

There is an urgent need to agree on international standards that are leading in the world and which are practical for both large and small businesses. In addition, we need agreements on a basic level of protection in Europe to prevent weak links, but a level that leaves room for companies to innovate and adapt to new risks. Europe is well on its way here. Thirdly, on international exchange of information on cyber threats. Cybercriminals do not respect borders. Fourthly, on rapid and effective cross-border law enforcement on cybercrime and tackling cyber criminals. Now the chance of getting caught is too low, with the risk that countries independently expand their digital investigative powers to foreign countries. May the Dutch police hack a server in Russia and may Russia may also do the same to us? Fifthly, agreements on the rules of engagement for countries and their intelligence services on the Internet.

Focus on cybersecurity should not lead to fear. Fear is a bad counsellor. But to profit from the opportunities of the Internet and ICT, we should have a good answer to the threats. That only works in an international context. The Cyberspace Conference next year provides a unique opportunity for the Netherlands to take the lead. It starts in the national parliament that is debating cyber security this week. We ask Members of Parliament to set the agenda internationally.

 

Géolocalisation France: la loi est promulguée!

Posted by on 01/04/14

Où en est-on ? Suite à l’article publiée dans le N° 142 de NEAsay le moment est venu de s’interroger. Comme annoncé par NEAsay, rien ne s’opposant à sa promulgation, le président de la République « a signé » malgré les zones d’ombre qui susbsistaient. 

La loi a été promulguée le 28 mars 2014. Elle a été publiée au Journal officiel!

Saisi le 27 février 2014 d’un recours déposé par au moins 60 députés, le Conseil constitutionnel avait, dans sa décision 25 mars 2014, jugé les dispositions relatives à la mise en œuvre de la géolocalisation conformes à la Constitution (il a partiellement censuré les dispositions relatives au dossier de procédure).Le texte définitif du projet de loi avait été adopté le 24 février 2014, l’Assemblée nationale et le Sénat ayant adopté dans des termes identiques le texte mis au point par la Commission mixte paritaire. Présenté en Conseil des ministres du 23 décembre 2013 par Mme Christiane Taubira, garde des Sceaux, ministre de la justice, le projet de loi avait été adopté en première lecture, avec modifications, par le Sénat le 20 janvier 2014, après engagement de la procédure accélérée et le 11 février 2014 par l’Assemblée nationale.

Ce texte vise à mettre le droit français en conformité avec les exigences posées par la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme dans son arrêt Uzun c/ Allemagne du 2 septembre 2010, ainsi que la Cour de cassation dans ses arrêts du 22 octobre 2013.

La géolocalisation englobe toutes les techniques permettant de localiser en continu un téléphone portable ou un objet comme un véhicule, sur lequel une balise a préalablement été posée. Il s’agit de donner un fondement législatif à des pratiques qui, jusqu’à présent, reposaient sur des dispositions très générales du code de procédure pénale.

Le texte prévoit que la géolocalisation ne sera désormais possible qu’en cas d’investigations concernant un crime ou un délit puni d’au moins trois ans d’emprisonnement. Au cours de l’enquête, elle devra être autorisée par une décision écrite du procureur de la République, pour une durée initiale de 15 jours, qui pourra être prolongée, par le juge des libertés et de la détention, pour une durée d’un mois renouvelable. Au cours de l’instruction, elle devra être autorisée par une décision écrite du juge d’instruction, pour une durée de 4 mois renouvelable.

Dans toutes les hypothèses, seul le juge des libertés ou de la détention ou le juge d’instruction pourra, sous réserve que l’infraction ou comportement interdit par la loi et passibles de sanctions pénales. On distingue trois catégories d’infraction selon la gravité et les peines encourues : les contraventions, les délits et les crimes. soit passible d’une peine d’au moins 5 ans d’emprisonnement, autoriser l’introduction dans un domicile pour la pose d’un dispositif de géolocalisation.

En cas d’urgence, notamment de risque d’atteinte grave aux personnes ou aux biens, un officier de police judiciaire pourra décider d’une géolocalisation, sous réserve d’une autorisation a posteriori du procureur de la République. Le Sénat a prévu que l’autorisation devait intervenir dans les douze heures. Ce délai a été porté à 24 heures par l’Assemblée nationale.

L’intervention d’un magistrat ne sera en revanche pas nécessaire pour permettre la géolocalisation d’une victime. On estime que la mesure est prise dans le propre intérêt de cette dernière.

Un amendement déposé par le Gouvernement. permet le recours à la géolocalisation dans le cas de crimes et délits contre les personnes punis d’une peine d’emprisonnement égale ou supérieure à trois ans. Un amendement adopté par le Sénat réduit de 15 à 8 jours le délai maximal dans lequel le Procureur de la République doit saisir le juge des libertés et des détentions lorsqu’il a ordonné des mesures de géolocalisation. L’Assemblée nationale a rétabli le délai initial de 15 jours en première lecture.

 

 Pour en savoir plus :

-  Communiqué de presse du gouvernement. Conseil du 23 décembre: (FR)

- Dossier législatif sur le projet de loi relatif à la géolocalisation Sénat:  (FR)

- Texte de la loi. Décision n° 2014-693 DC du 25 mars 2014 – Loi relative à la géolocalisation: (FR)

- Conseil constitutionnel: (FR)


Classé dans:Droit à la liberté et à la sûreté, DROITS FONDAMENTAUX

MedTech will not be wiped out by Apples or Googles – but here’s something to think about

Posted by on 27/03/14
“Nihil novi sub sole” said the Vulgate. That could not be farther from reality when it comes to the MedTech Europe blog. And I am privileged to be the first author to “lay pen to paper” and contribute to MedTech Views, an initiative by MedTech Europe to establish a true platform for dialogue about medical [...]

Privacy can be protected without protectionism

Posted by on 25/03/14
By John Higgins and Dean C Garfield. The transatlantic relationship represents the most important trade partnership in the world. Efforts to strengthen this relationship through an ambitious trade and investment agreement are more important than ever. We urge leaders meeting in Brussels this week to address the key challenges that stand in the way of an agreement. Most notably, the issue of international data flows. As Neelie Kroes, the EU digital commissioner, recently said: “ ‘No’ to data protectionism; ‘Yes’ to data protection.”

EU Personal Data Protection Reform: Was This Necessary?

Posted by on 17/03/14
By Dimitris Rapidis The data protection reform comes to address a string of obsolete rules dated back to the 1995, Finally... and still there are at least three major concerns that have not been elaborated during the Plenary session of the European Parliament: How an EU citizen could erase personal data; what has been done with the personal data already acquired; and why the EC has proposed a lower fine given the gravity of the issue?

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

Posted by on 17/03/14

Authors: Viktor Mayer- Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier

Big Data is an easy to read book even for those who are not so familiar with the subject or with its specific terminology such as predictive analytics, quants, causality, correlations, algorithms, datafication, digitalization or exabytes.

According to Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, “There is no rigorous definition of big data. Initially the idea was that the volume of information had grown so large that the quantity being examined no longer fit into the memory that computers use for processing, so engineers needed to revamp the tools they used for analyzing it all (…). One way to think about the issue today — and the way we do in the book — is this: big data refers to things one can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smaller one, to extract new insights or create new forms of value, in ways that change markets, organizations, the relationship between citizens and governments, and more.” (Chapter 1, Now, Letting the data speak).

However, in order to cope with the difficulty of defining big data in a traditional way, the authors come up with a lot of practical example of big data usage covering fields such as health care, transportation, aviation, brokerage, on-line commerce, retail, social networking or automotive industry. Consequently, readers are able to relate to such empiric examples and further encouraged to build their own definition of big data and, at the same time, evaluate the impact of its usage.

While reading the book I have noticed one important aspect that we have to keep in mind when discussing the big data phenomena: big data allows us to evolve from a world based on causality to one driven by correlations. Hence, big data is about predictions, it doesn’t tell us why something happens but what is going to happen. As a result, people are able to make multiple use of the latent value of information contained by big data and change the own nature of their daily life, businesses, markets, and society.

At this point, the authors connect the capacity of a country to collect and use big amounts of data with its commitment to development and progress. From this perspective, data is a “building block for new goods and business models” (Chapter 6, Value). By using the available amount of information trapped inside data we are able to change the essence of things happening around us. In this sense, more and more cutting – edge businesses able to come up with unique ideas about ways to tap data to unlock new forms of value are now emerging. Some of these innovative ideas and instruments influence also the way in which public administrations work, going from new methods of fighting organized crime to efficient mechanisms of delivering public services. To support their arguments, the authors use the example of New York City Hall which, in 2009, decided to create a special position for a director of analytics in charge with unmasking the villains of the subprime mortgage scandal. The unit was so successful that mayor Bloomberg they decided to expand its scope of to several other domains of activity.

Although the book speaks a lot about the innovative work in collecting and using big amounts of data, done by IT giants such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Ivory League universities like Harvard, IMT, Oxford or different start – ups from Silicone Valey, and takes the reader back in time thought captivating short stories about the contribution of primal big data usage to the evolution of mankind, it refrains from giving straightforward examples about the misuse of big data.

Instead, the authors recognize that the age of big data will require new rules to safeguard the sanctity of the individual and that simple changes to the existing ones will not be sufficient to “temper big data’s dark side” (Chapter 9). A first challenge for us will be to learn how to deal with the shift from privacy to probability and its in-built lack of transparency. At personal level we will have difficulties in understanding why something happens but we will have the advantage of knowing what it is going to happen. Such an approach can highly conflict with the way in which our cognitive system functions and with our constant need for finding causal relationships for things affecting our lives. Nevertheless, at the moment we start using a smart phone, a credit card, create an account on a social network or browse the internet we need to understand that we become subjects to data collection and, in this way, direct contributors to a new world dominated by correlations and predictions.

This new paradigm in which people, organizations or institutions are able to access more information and offer fewer explanations requires that big data users become more accountable for their actions. A first step will be to focus public speech not on the ways in which companies or governments collect gargantuan amounts of data but on the ways in which they are using the information extracted from their new found treasure. Further steps should consider principles such as openness, certification or disprovability, able to counteract any predisposition towards endowing the data with more meaning and importance that it deserves and avoid a possible dictatorship of data. In the end, we can never have perfect information our predictions are inherently fallible.

On the other side, we now have new tools to cut-back pollution by identifying the best routes to deliver a product by sea, air or land, prevent the expansion of deadly viruses, fight against organized crime, improve public services or reduce language barriers and poverty, especially when its intrinsic value is used “with a generous degree of humility …and humanity” (Chapter 10, 197)

However, since we do not have yet the means to capture all the information out there, big data is a resource and a tool that doesn’t offer ultimate answers, just well enough ones.

by Marius Niculae & Roxana Damian

 

 

A Missed Opportunity in Data Protection

Posted by on 11/03/14

This week, the European Parliament will almost certainly adopt a resolution calling for amendments to the draft EU Data Protection Regulation. This legislative process has taken an unusually long time – and rightly so, because the topic is complex and technical, and because the stakes are very high. Every single company in Europe is affected, because they all deal with either employee data, customer data, or more likely, both. Rules on how this is done are self-evidently fundamental to how the European economy works, at a very organic level.

As I said a few months ago, I think good progress is being made on a number of key aspects of the law. In particular, the European Parliament is taking a very welcome and practical line on the most fundamental aspect of the legislation – the definition of what constitutes personal data. We are at least going to be building on a strong foundation.

However, the Parliament is about to miss a valuable opportunity to ensure that the legislation is truly modern and world-leading. We are talking about the difference between a crumbling 1960s apartment block (nevertheless built on strong foundations) and an earthquake-proof, carbon-neutral, Internet-enabled home for the 21st century.

New York – Green Towers (Liebeskind. Daniel)

On fundamental structural aspects of the text, such as the limited set of legal bases companies can use to process data, the Parliament proposal falls well short of being workable. This is the case, for example, for the “consent” legal basis, where the Parliament has accepted the Commission’s simplistic and unsophisticated view that one size (“explicit consent”) really fits all. We know from practical reality that such a rigid approach will result in perverse privacy effects.

Another is the issue of “profiling”. As defined in the text, profiling is synonymous with any kind of data crunching that is designed to help a company customise its services. Since this is fundamental to any business, this means a vast volume of activity will be covered. If, as Parliament will propose, all profiling is subject at minimum to an opt-out, European businesses will find it extremely costly to implement systems and processes for such an opt out to be exercised, even in the vast majority of circumstances where it is completely unnecessary (imagine what your butcher would have to do if you ask him not to keep a record of what meat you buy so that he can serve you better).

European elections loom, and the next Parliament may take a different approach. But it is disappointing that this one has failed to do what it can to protect privacy and support the economy by cutting red tape.

You can also read this post on the Allegro Group blog site.

 

The new law of the internet

Posted by on 03/03/14
On February 2014, The Turkish Parliament enacted new legislation amending Law No..5651 titled “Regulation of the Publications on the Internet and Combating crimes Committed through these Publications”. It will come into force when countersigned by the President of the Turkish Republic who, by the way, [...]

BloggingPortal, meet Apache Stanbol

Posted by on 28/02/14
Well, plus ca change – absolutely none of the things some BloggingPortal editors said we’d do after our meeting in January have been done, apart from our own posts and what Stefan did, which is ironic given that he told us he had no time to do anything. But maybe there wasn’t much point: we [...]

Des français inquiets mais résignés admettent en grosse majorité la surveillance d’internet

Posted by on 25/02/14

Les personnes interrogées jugent à 59% que la surveillance "permet de lutter efficacement contre les organisations criminelles"… même si elle "met gravement en danger les libertés individuelles" pour 70% d’entre elles.  Les personnes interrogées jugent à 59% que la surveillance des agences étatiques "permet de lutter efficacement contre les organisations criminelles". Un sondage susceptible de remettre en cause la stratégie choisie par le Parlement européen et par les défenseurs institutionnels  des données personnelles ? Ce sondage va-t-il compliquer l’adoption du « paquet Reding » ?Ne doit pas être perdu de vue le fait qu’ils sont cependant encore 52% à penser qu’une "volonté politique forte peut protéger la confidentialité !

   La surveillance généralisée des échanges sur internet, même si elle nuit "gravement" aux libertés individuelles, est "justifiée" pour 57% des Français à des fins de lutte contre les organisations criminelles, selon le baromètre Orange/Terrafemina diffusé mardi 25 février en exclusivité par l’AFP.

 64% des personnes interrogées pensent que leurs messages sont "enregistrés et stockés" lorsqu’elles téléphonent avec un mobile, et 74% pensent la même chose s’agissant des SMS qu’elles envoient. Même fatalisme concernant les e-mails : 80% des sondés pensent que les courriels qu’ils envoient à un particulier sont "enregistrés et stockés".

 Lorsqu’ils effectuent des achats sur internet, les Français sont 81% à penser que les informations qu’ils transmettent à cette occasion sont "généralement transmises à des entreprises commerciales privées autres que celle par laquelle ils ont fait un achat", et 57% pensent qu’elles sont transmises à "des organismes de surveillance" – telles l’agence américaine de renseignement (NSA) ou la DGSE française.

 C’est un moyen de lutter efficacement contre les organisations criminelles.Les personnes interrogées jugent à 59% que la surveillance des agences étatiques "permet de lutter efficacement contre les organisations criminelles"… même si elle "met gravement en danger les libertés individuelles" pour 70% d’entre elles. Au final, invités dans la question suivante à peser le pour et le contre de la surveillance généralisée, les sondés la considèrent "justifiée" à 57%, tandis que 41% restent sur leur impression première et estiment "non justifiée cette surveillance car elle met gravement en danger les libertés individuelles".

 "Inquiets" donc (à 71%) de cette collecte de leurs données, la résignation est pourtant de mise : 48% des sondés pensent ainsi que "les innovations technologiques empêchent désormais la confidentialité des échanges sur internet". Dans le camp d’en face, ils sont cependant encore 52% à penser qu’une "volonté politique forte peut protéger la confidentialité des échanges privés sur internet".

 Cependant, à l’heure actuelle, les lois européennes concernant la confidentialité des échanges sur internet ne sont "pas assez restrictives" pour 81% des sondés, contre 14% qui pensent qu’elles sont "comme il faut". Récemment, le vote de la loi de Programmation militaire a suscité la polémique, notamment son article 13 qui renforce l’accès des services de renseignement aux données téléphoniques et informatiques, pour lutter contre le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée.

 Pour la vingtième vague de ce baromètre sur les usages internet des Français, dédié cette fois-ci à la collecte des données, l’institut Polling Vox a interrogé en ligne 1.017 personnes âgées de 18 ans et plus selon la méthode des quotas, les 22 et 23 janvier.


Classé dans:DROITS FONDAMENTAUX, Protection des données personnelles

Ngram Viewer from Google

Posted by on 24/02/14

 

While reading the new book of  Viktor Mayer-SchönbergerKenneth Cukier called “Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform how We Live, Work, and Think” I have learned about Google’s  Ngram Viewer (http://books.google.com/ngrams).  According to the above authors, Ngram Viewer “will generate a graph of the use of words or phrases over time, using the entire Google Books index as a data source” based on a process called datafication. In a few words, dataficiation consists in transforming digital information in to data suitable for multiple use. Since this blog tries to discuss topics related to governance and territorial cooperation I’ve took the time to look for both terms and the results are somehow the expected ones. Governance appeared as a concept after 1980 and was boosted by the a gargantuan amount of publications issued by the World Bank and other international organizations. Territorial cooperation however made its breakthrough around 1900 and, for the past 120 years, its usage was highly influenced by the Europe’s convulsive political past.  One this is clear though, the evolution of the EU was the engine behind the conceptual promotion and practical operationalization of territorial cooperation while governance remains the avatar of international organizations.

 

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