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.

On the back of PRISM and the US surveillance scandal, the Germans are  pushing hard  to get the toughest possible outcome in the new EU data privacy rules that are currently making their way through the European Parliament. But that positioning puts them directly in conflict with the Brits, who  take a more pro-industry stance  and really don’t want the new law at all – at least, not in its current format.

Read more: Germany v Britain tussle over new EU data privacy rules

The UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling  has given the closest indication yet  that the EU  reform of data protection law, known as the Data Protection Regulation, is in political difficulty. Speaking on the BBC Radio Today Programme,  Mr Grayling revealed certain aspects of the British position and  hinted that a difference between the UK and Germany is at the root of a divide in the Council.

Read more: EU data privacy reform “in the mire” says UK Minister

In the super-politics of the EU,  how will the  Council of Ministers play its cards on the Data Protection Regulation?

Fissures within the Council of Ministers could pose a threat to the review of Europe’s privacy law, according to some Brussels insiders. From what can be ascertained, the Council is not happy with a number of the provisions in the  Data Protection Regulation, currently in  its first reading in the European Parliament. The Council  is even split over the

Read more: EU data privacy reform – does the Council have the political will?


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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