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.

European Parliament data proection rapporteur Jan Albrecht was  photographed last week in a drinking duet with Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. Can he make it a trio with the Council? That is the key question for  today’s vote in the Civil Liberties Committee.

***Update: 19.11 21 October - the Libe committee have just approved the Albrecht report with all compromises, and the Council (trilogue) mandate   - 51+ 1-  The Droutsas report on data protection and law enforcement was also adopted with a smallermajority 29+ 20-****

 Jan Albrecht is clearly under pressure, as evidenced by a statement he has placed on a Green Party website regarding the possibility of trilogues, which he is recommending to his committee. It’s also

Read more: EU privacy under pressure: how positive are the compromises?

Europe’s controversial new data protection rules could be decided in closed-door back-room talks if a mandate is approved by the Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee next week. It has now been officially confirmed, as predicted before the summer break by Iptegrity,  that the rapporteur, Jan Philipp Albrecht, is to put the option to his committee. A vote will be taken next Monday 21 October.

Read more: Secret talks on privacy law: EU Parliament to decide next week

Tomorrow the European Parliament will be presented with a no compromise set of recommendations on the PRISM / NSA surveillance scandal. In an unusually outspoken report, the Parliament will be told that the only solution will be to target changes in the United States legal code. In other words, Europe must lobby the US for legal amendments that will protect EU citizens rights when data is held across the Atlantic.

Read more: Demand change to US privacy law, EU Parliament told



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."

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 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 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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