Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

Dr. Claus Ulmer of Deutsche Telekom on the European Data Protection Reform projet:

However, the text of the regulation still has to be adapted to the extent that multinational corporations with numerous legal units are also clearly covered by the regulation and can therefore profit from it.

At first sight it’s spin for data protection. The sort of expressions you hope these persons don’t take home from work, and it gets you pleased as a punch. Anyway, what seems to contradict the lobbying from Us corporations in Brussels against data protection makes sense from the perspective of Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom is satisfied with the current data protection regime under German law and as a multinational corporation appreciates equivalent uniform rules for Europe, refutes self-regulation as a too lenghty process, embarks into a simple one-stop-shop approach. Interesting interview.

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Microsoft (John Vassallo) wrote to the European Commission on the enforcement review:

Data protection and IP enforcement must be reconciled. Data protection rules presently prevent some internet evidence gathering and civil cases altogether in some Member States – even against corporate infringers. This runs directly counter to the TRIPs Agreement. Fundamental rights to protection of privacy, intellectual property and justice must all be respected.

Details in the section under the title “Data protection and IP enforcement must be reconciled.”. Specifically their concern is access to IP data.

These fundamental rights can and should be implemented in a complementary and consistent way throughout the EU both to protect privacy interests and to permit rights owners to protect their IP through both civil and criminal enforcement.

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Without much general awareness of the larger public, there are fresh American plans to choke an expected update of EU data protection laws. The plan is using a trade funnel torpedo and the fiction of non-tarrif trade discrimination. Sure, the current policy drift towards privacy/digital rights leads to a stronger position of Europe to defend the privacy of its citizens abroad. The midterm counter-measure proposed by the Americans would be IDEA:

“We suggest that the EU and the U.S. initiate negotiations over an International Digital Economy Accord (IDEA) based on the principle of the free flow of information. … The IDEA should address market access related problems, non-tariff barriers and service regulations. The exact design and content of the IDEA must of course be the subject of negotiations between the countries that have decided to join the “coalition of the willing” negotiating this agreement.

The negotiating agenda should reflect the practical concerns and experiences of firms engaged in the cross-border digital economy. Concerns related to the information, communications.
and technology (ICT) sector are numerous, especially since trade in ICT goods and services support the whole economy.

What is the perceived problem?

The ability of companies to process data and deliver services internationally is under serious threat. Regulators in many countries increasingly require personal data to be maintained on servers in the home jurisdiction. It is sometimes required that offshore services be relocated to the importing country and, in the case of China, data-processing hubs are obliged to be located within the regulated markets. Moreover, users of international digital services are being challenged more and more by national regulations on issues of data management, digital rights, data privacy and the location of commercial data, with growing nationalist pressures everywhere to use local services suppliers in these areas in order to generate local jobs.

And the solution: abolish data sovereignty:

The IDEA would seek to prohibit any requirements to locate information technology (IT) infrastructure (e.g. servers) within the domestic jurisdiction as a condition of permission to process data or to provide digital services. The IDEA would also encourage international harmonization of data privacy requirements, and encourage the adoption of internationally accepted security frameworks and the use of third party auditors to reassure regulators that data is properly protected without the need for cross-border restrictions.

The agreement could take various forms. Ideally it would be an agreement that provides for a negotiating mechanism to continually update its content, since the digital-economy changes quickly.”

I makes you wonder whether they forgot the SWIFT spying scandal where the United States had unauthorised access to highly sensitive European financial transaction data, simply because mirror servers were operating in the United States.

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Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference: Data Protection in A Profiled World?

16 January 2009 – 17 January 2009 Brussels, Belgium: This event aims to offer a discussion forum for policy makers, academics, practitioners, activists and representatives from standardization bodies and ICT industries,on key issues related to data protection and privacy.

The main topic of this year’s conference is “profiling and automatic computing”. Other topics covered: e-voting and data breaches, e-privacy regulations and surveillance, privacy by design and social networks.

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