International Institute of Communications

Shaping the policy agenda: TELECOMMUNICATIONS • MEDIA • TECHNOLOGY
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Privacy, Safety, Security

IIC discussions explore ways to combine a respect for privacy and protection of personal data and critical information infrastructures, whilst enabling government authorities to protect national security interests. The NSA-Snowden revelations have had a major impact on discussions of privacy. Whereas before the focus was on the relative validity of different security approaches adopted by USA and Europe. In the post-PRISM debate the need to re-build trust towards providers and governments emerges strongly.


Sharp rise in spam calls projected in the US Sharp rise in spam calls projected in the US

Nearly half of all cellphone calls in the US next year will come from scammers, according to First Orion, a company that provides phone carriers and their customers caller ID and call blocking technology. The Washington Post reports that the company “projects an explosion of incoming spam calls, marking a leap from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to more than 29% this year, to a projected 45% by early 2019”

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Key speakers on Privacy, Safety, Security

Thomas M Dailey

Thomas M Dailey

Natee Sukonrat (Col. Dr )

Natee Sukonrat (Col. Dr )

Aaron Burstein

Aaron Burstein

Adriana Labardini Inzunza

Adriana Labardini Inzunza

Alfredo Rafael Deluque Zuleta (Dr)

Alfredo Rafael Deluque Zuleta (Dr)

Andrew Barendse (Dr)

Andrew Barendse (Dr)

Talks on Privacy, Safety, Security

  • Regulators not ready for GDPR, according to survey

    Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been billed as the biggest shake-up of data privacy laws since the birth of the web, notes Reuters.

  • A responsible internet

    Privacy, safety, security and etiquette in an era of big data and disruptive technology.

  • Are Australian consumers paying for Google’s data collection?

    Google is under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the country’s Privacy Commissioner following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphone users, who unwittingly pay their telecoms service providers for gigabytes consumed by the activity, reports Reuters.

  • Australia considers extending interception law to OTT

    The Australian attorney-general’s department (AGD) has argued in favour of extending Australia's telecoms interception laws from telcos to over the top providers, reports ZDNet.

  • Call to unblock data flows in Asia

    Governments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for their citizens by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, according to a report by the GSMA.

  • Civil society plea for cybercrime negotiations

    On 3 April 2018, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), along with 93 civil society organisations from across the globe, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, requesting transparency and meaningful civil society participation in the Council of Europe’s negotiations of the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime...

  • Cloud supported economy

    Jurisdictional issues, infrastructure and investment.

  • Cloud, M2M and the data economy

    What policy and regulatory strategies are needed across Europe to drive roll-out, manage security risks and build trust?

  • Critics say Europe’s e-privacy regulation will cut revenues

    On the heels of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe is gearing up for its next big privacy push, this time taking aim at data collection within messaging apps. But critics contend the proposed law goes too far, potentially stifling innovation and hurting profits, according to an article in OWI Insight.

  • Cross-border data flows examined in Asian study

    A paper published by Brookings looks at the importance of cross-border data flows, taking Asia as a model, and why they need regulating to stimulate the digital economy.

  • EU fast tracks cross-border data freedom

    EU negotiators have sealed an agreement to allow non-personal data to move freely across the bloc and ban national laws that require companies to store data within a country’s borders, reports EurActiv. Read
    EU fast tracks cross-border data freedom

More InterMedia articles on Privacy, Safety, Security

  • Children: A Special Case for Privacy?

    As the world absorbs the impact of Europe’s GDPR, SONIA LIVINGSTONE asks if data protection can work for children’s privacy – or if a wider view is needed for all ages of user 

    July 2018, Volume 46 Issue 2

  • Young, Safe & Free

    Protecting the online rights of children in the commercial sphere has become a pressing issue for policymakers, as UNICEF’s PATRICK GEARY explains.

    April 2018, Volume 46 Issue 1

  • Illicit streaming devices: time to act

    Illicit streaming devices have become the latest mainstream content piracy threat. CASBAA’s JOHN MEDEIROS says that policymakers need to act now

    January 2018, Volume 45 Issue 4

  • Shortcomings of the EU proposal for free flow of data

    The EU legislator has proposed banning mandatory non-personal data localisation to help unlock the data economy. While facilitating the free flow of such data within the EU is laudable, the proposal has a number of shortcomings, writes CATHAL FLYNN.

    January 2018, Volume 45 Issue 4

  • Time to Lead

    The latest ransomware attacks should be a catalyst for a more strategic approach to cybersecurity, argues MALCOLM TAYLOR.

    July 2017, Volume 45 Issue 2

  • Anti-Spam Action

    Canada’s CRTC and the IIC kicked off discussion on international efforts to combat unwanted communications, as STEVEN HARROUN explains.

    April 2017, Volume 45 Issue 1

  • Stress Testing the US Privacy Framework

    Two major planks of US privacy regulation, including controversial new broadband rules, are discussed by AARON BURSTEIN and JOSHUA BERCU.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Europe's New Code for OTT

    There are few issues more fraught than how to deal with over the top services. ANDREAS GRÜNWALD and CHRISTOPH NÜSSING examine Europe’s draft code.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Smartphones: Liberation or Limits?

    As more people, especially the less well off, have only a smartphone to access the internet, there are signs that a new type of digital divide could develop.  Ofcom’s Alison Preston describes new research carried out in the UK.
    July 2016, Volume 44 Issue 02

  • Q&A Ulf Pehrsson

    With ulf pehrsson, Ericsson's head of government and industry relations
    April 2016, Volume 44 Issue 01

  • Voyage of discovery

    Jean-Pierre Blais reports from Canada on 'discoverability' and the paradox of finding good television content in an age of seeming abundance
    April 2016, Volume 44 Issue 01

  • Final Countdown to Data Protection

    A long overdue reform in European data protection law has finally taken shape, as Maurizio Mensi explains.
    January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04

  • Protect and Roam

    Matt Hatton reviews the main regulatory trends in the world of M2M and the internet of things.
    March 2015, Volume 43 Issue 01

  • 21st Century Privacy Fix

    With pressure mounting for new personal data privacy rules, Nancy Libin and Joshua Bercu assess the current state of play in the US and EU.
    June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02

  • Platforms on Trial

    The major digital platforms face a crisis in trust from authorities and the public. TERRY FLEW takes a tour around the options for granting them probation

    July 2018, Volume 46 Issue 2

  • Privacy Research Directions

    Views and new studies about privacy from researchers at Aalborg University, Denmark
    June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02

  • Put Consumers First

     Data privacy is rightly among the biggest concerns in the digital age but, as DANIEL SEPULVEDA argues from the industry perspective, a regulatory balance is needed between protection and the success of a data-driven economy.

    October 2018, Volume 46 Issue 3

Regulatory Watch articles on Privacy, Safety, Security

  • Sharp rise in spam calls projected in the US

    Nearly half of all cellphone calls in the US next year will come from scammers, according to First Orion, a company that provides phone carriers and their customers caller ID and call blocking technology. The Washington Post reports that the company “projects an explosion of incoming spam calls, marking a leap from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to more than 29% this year, to a projected 45% by early 2019”

  • Call to unblock data flows in Asia

    Governments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for their citizens by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, according to a report by the GSMA.

  • UK plans social media regulation; Ofcom publishes digital dependency research

    UK ministers have started drafting proposals for new laws to regulate social media and the internet, according to the Daily Telegraph. “The move has been prompted by widespread consumer concerns over a range of online harms including child abuse, bullying, fake news and internet addiction.

  • Test case on the right to be forgotten

    The “right to be forgotten” online is in danger of being transformed into a tool of global censorship through a test case at the European court of justice (ECJ), free speech organisations are warning.

  • Hong Kong Industry Discussion on Financial Data on Public Cloud

    Members of the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) and the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) met on 3 Sep 2018 in Hong Kong to discuss the HK Securities and Financial Commission (FSC's) request for information around cloud and data storage.

  • India’s regulator advocates tougher data protection

    TRAI, India’s telecoms regulator, has said the existing framework for protection of personal data by companies and service providers is insufficient and has recommended stricter rules to tackle data breaches, notes Reuters.

  • Europe and China taking over from the US internet rules

    The US is losing ground as the internet’s standard-bearer in the face of aggressive European privacy standards and China’s draconian vision for a tightly controlled web, reports Politico. “The weakening of the American position comes after years of US lawmakers and presidents, including both Donald Trump and Barack Obama, backing the tech industry’s aversion to new regulations.

  • France and Singapore agree on digital roadmap

    Amid concerns about increasingly sophisticated online threats, Singapore and France have pledged to beef up cooperation on cybersecurity and exchange ideas on regulatory approaches to safeguarding user data in the digital sphere.

  • ICAAN’s latest proposal for the Whois service rejected by Europe

    European data regulators have torn up the latest proposal by internet overseer ICANN over its Whois data service, sending the organisation back to the drawing board for a third time, notes the Register.

  • Malaysian minister receptive to reform of comms act and content

    A human rights campaigner has urged the Malaysian government to form a taskforce of officials and concerned citizens for discussions on changes to the Communications and Multimedia Act, reports Free Malaysia Today.

  • Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition software

    Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, has called for regulation of facial recognition software in the US, reports VentureBeat. “In a democratic republic, there is no substitute for decision making by our elected representatives regarding the issues that require the balancing of public safety with the essence of our democratic freedoms.

  • Germany’s regulator wants platforms on a level playing field

    Germany’s top telecoms regulator has set its sights on US technology groups such as Google and Facebook, insisting that providers of messaging and email services should be regulated just like ordinary telecoms companies, reports the Financial Times.

  • Critics say Europe’s e-privacy regulation will cut revenues

    On the heels of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe is gearing up for its next big privacy push, this time taking aim at data collection within messaging apps. But critics contend the proposed law goes too far, potentially stifling innovation and hurting profits, according to an article in OWI Insight.

  • EU fast tracks cross-border data freedom

    EU negotiators have sealed an agreement to allow non-personal data to move freely across the bloc and ban national laws that require companies to store data within a country’s borders, reports EurActiv.

  • US Supreme Court rules in favour of warrant for cell site location data

    In a 5-4 ruling, the US Supreme Court has decided that the government generally needs a warrant in order to access cell site location information, which is automatically generated whenever a mobile phone connects to a cell tower and is stored by wireless carriers for years, reports Wired.

  • Europe data protection head has strong words for platform players over GDPR

    The European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, has set an agenda to tackle the “unbalanced ecosystem” being created in the digital economy. In a blog post, he has strong words for the big platform players: “The digital information ecosystem farms people for their attention, ideas and data in exchange for so called ‘free’ services.

  • Are Australian consumers paying for Google’s data collection?

    Google is under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the country’s Privacy Commissioner following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphone users, who unwittingly pay their telecoms service providers for gigabytes consumed by the activity, reports Reuters.

  • Australia considers extending interception law to OTT

    The Australian attorney-general’s department (AGD) has argued in favour of extending Australia's telecoms interception laws from telcos to over the top providers, reports ZDNet.

  • Regulators not ready for GDPR, according to survey

    Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been billed as the biggest shake-up of data privacy laws since the birth of the web, notes Reuters.

  • Civil society plea for cybercrime negotiations

    On 3 April 2018, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), along with 93 civil society organisations from across the globe, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, requesting transparency and meaningful civil society participation in the Council of Europe’s negotiations of the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime...

  • UK lawmakers start internet regulation inquiry

    The UK House of Lords Communications Committee has invited contributions to an inquiry on the regulation of the internet, under which the Committee will explore how the regulation of the internet should be improved, and whether specific regulation is required or whether the existing law is adequate.

  • European working party takes on social media

    Working Party 29 (WP29), the group that unites European data protection authorities, has announced “its full support” for investigations by national privacy authorities into the collection and use of personal data by and through social media.

  • Cross-border data flows examined in Asian study

    A paper published by Brookings looks at the importance of cross-border data flows, taking Asia as a model, and why they need regulating to stimulate the digital economy.

  • Europe makes triple play on artificial intelligence

    The European Commission is proposing “a three-pronged approach to increase public and private investment in artificial intelligence (AI), prepare for socioeconomic changes, and ensure an appropriate ethical and legal framework.”

  • The impact of the GDPR

    On 25 May the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force for the 28 member states, but the impact is already far wider as the regulation affects any organisation that keeps data on an EU citizen, which includes all the global internet giants.

  • Metadata processing under scrutiny in Europe

    An item in the law blog, Out-Law.com, notes that EU law makers are scrutinising the issue of metadata processing in the context of new EU laws on privacy and electronic communications (the e-privacy regulation). The Bulgarian presidency of the Council of Ministers has published a document that has highlighted that there are different views across national governments in the EU on the rules that should apply to metadata processing.

  • European Commission publishes report on fake news and disinformation

    The European Commission’s high-level expert group on fake news and disinformation spread online has produced a report that suggests a definition of the phenomenon and makes a series of recommendations.

  • Dutch agency notes vulnerability of digitisation of the power supply

    The digitisation of the power supply will make it vulnerable due to the increasing risk of error in the software, and not only as a result of cyberattacks, reports Telecom Paper, noting a report by the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli).

  • US court rolls back robocall rules

    A US federal appeals court has rolled back rules intended to deter irritating telemarketing robocalls, saying they were too broad, notes the Washington Post.

  • France proposes law on operators and cybersecurity

    The French government has proposed legislation on cybersecurity that requires telecoms operators and online service providers to play a more active role in protecting the country's communications, reports Telecompaper.

  • Social media companies need to do more to comply with EU consumer rules

    The European Commission says social media companies need to do more to respond to the requests, made last March by the Commission and member states’ consumer authorities, to comply with EU consumer rules.

  • Proposal for a federal 5G network in the US

    Telecoms and law professor Rob Frieden has written about a US National Security Council initiative that identifies the security and public safety benefits in having a government owned 5G wireless network leased by commercial ventures.

  • Expert report on AI warns of malicious use

    Experts on the security implications of emerging technologies have written a report that sounds the alarm about the potential malicious use of artificial intelligence (AI) by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists.

  • Notifiable Data Breaches scheme to be effective from February

    Australian agencies and organisations will be obligated by law to report data breaches under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme from 22 February 2018.

  • Netherlands pronounces on the digital economy

    The Dutch government says it will come out this year with a strategy to help entrepreneurs and people in the Netherlands to benefit from the digital economy, notes Telecompaper. Secretary of State Mona Keijzer stated in an opinion that digitisation is not only about economics, but also touches on relationships in society, on safety and on accessibility.

  • ‘No change’ in VoIP policy in UAE

    The UAE's telecoms regulator has clarified that there is no change in its policy towards voice over internet protocol (VoIP) applications, following complaints by users that phone and video service Skype had been disrupted, reports The National.

  • Data protection will ‘boost growth’ in Africa

    Experts in information and communication technology say enforcing data protection laws will boost growth in Africa’s digital economy, reports The Cable.

  • FCC goes ahead with net neutrality repeal

    As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on party lines “to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years”.

  • Bulgaria to prioritise European Communications Code in Council presidency; full EU spectrum reform in doubt

    Bulgaria will focus its attention on speeding up negotiations on the European Communications Code when it takes over the 6 month rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers in January, notes EurActiv.

  • China sends out digital economy signals

    China is willing to deepen global cooperation in the digital economy to gain new momentum and expand global economic growth, the head of the country’s internet regulatory body has said.

  • Wiretapping children’s watches banned in Germany

    Certain smartwatches for children can no longer be sold in Germany as some of these models are equipped with a “wiretapping” function, reports Deutsche Welle. Germany’s Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, announced the ban saying that these watches can be classed as ‘unauthorised transmitters’.

  • Somalia passes communications act, clears way for regulator

    The federal parliament of Somalia has passed a communications act that seeks to streamline the country's telecoms sector and tackle the growing cybercrimes in the country, reports the Horn Observer.

  • Child online safety highlighted in UK report and green paper

    A review by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) evidence group, made up of researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Middlesex University and the University of Central Lancashire, has highlighted the major risks, opportunities and emerging trends for children online.

  • Europe seeks greater decryption powers for police

    The European Commission is seeking to give police greater powers to decrypt private messages as part of a wider proposal to crackdown on criminals and terrorists, reports EUobserver.

  • UK report on AI holds back on regulation

    Nine months after the UK government commissioned an independent review into artificial intelligence (AI), the authors have revealed their findings, reports Wired.

  • European employees must be told of workplace email monitoring

    Companies must tell employees in advance if their work email accounts are being monitored without unduly infringing their privacy, the European Court of Human Rights said in a ruling on defining the scope of corporate email snooping, reports Reuters.

  • Digital giants, data and European authorities

    US tech giants are back in Europe’s spotlight, reports the Financial Times. Facebook and Google are both in the headlines over sanctions from European authorities, with Google kicking off its fight against a €2.4bn EU fine for abusing its market dominant position.

  • Consenting to adware on new computers

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US says it cannot stop computer makers from selling computers that inject ads into webpages to US consumers, notes Ars Technica.

  • Workplace health tracking devices could be ruled out in Europe

    Startups hoping to sell health tracking devices and software to corporate customers are worried European regulators will torpedo their business model, reports Bloomberg.

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