Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

Data Protection and Privacy

The protection of personal data and privacy is an area where the  European Union is a global leader. In 2022, the US is looking at how to implement privacy legislation for online platforms, and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is what they look to.

I wrote about the legislative journey of the GDPR in my book The Closing of the Net. The rapporteur was German Green lawyer, MEP Jan Albrecht. He had a tough time and ultimately produced a compromise that was not entirely satisfactory for either industry of citizen advocates.

But the undercurrent to privacy policy is all about surveillance, and nowhere more so, sadly, than in the UK. In 2022, the UK wants to force private platform providers to break encryption on communications between users. The policy battles around privacy did not stop with GDPR. They will continue for many years to come.

If you are interested in data protection policy and the genesis of the GDPR,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses how the policy was influenced by State and non-State actors.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will put  communications data at the top of his list for  new laws after the May 7 general election. Assuming  he is re-elected, he wants to extend the range of data that would be legally accessible to  the police and intelligence services, on a scale thus far unprecedented.  His proposals, justified on the basis of an increased terror threat,  will also up the ante in terms of the technology companies that will be obligated to comply.  The concern is that Mr Cameron’s implied multi-dimensional data retention requirement will also create an apparatus that, without sufficient safeguards and in the wrong hands, will result in  a vastly disproportionate, over-arching and unacceptable violation of  personal privacy.

Read more: David Cameron’s comms data top list - with new content powers

It’s looking less and less likely that the new EU data privacy rules will be adopted before the 2014 Euro-elections,  as the Council of Ministers  has effectively blocked the process. Trilogues – tripartite talks between the three major EU institutions – had been proposed to start  in January, with the aim of getting an agreement in place by March. But now Iptegrity has obtained  confirmation that those plans have been stalled  and it is unclear if and when they will be re-started.

Read more: Data privacy trilogues stalled by filibustering EU Council

In Germany, public anger over the interception of Chancellor Merkel’s mobile phone by NSA intelligence services  - known as Handygate - is indicative of the high level of feeling against the United States on the issue of data privacy.  And now it has emerged  that German MEPs are hatching a retaliatory plan that  would impose a legal barrier to US  firms who want to export European citizens' data to the US for processing. 

Read more: EU privacy rules – terminate ‘safe harbor’ says German MEP

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States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web." ITSecurity.co.uk

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Iptegrity in brief

 

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing. I am on the Advisory Council of the Open Rights Group.  I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. For more, see About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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