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.


Facebook highlights data portability issues

Facebook has called on regulators and other experts to answer key questions to help it forge its strategy around protecting user privacy while meeting demand for increased data portability, notes Mobile World Live.

  • Monday, 16 September 2019

Key speakers on Privacy, Safety, Security

Natee Sukonrat (Col. Dr )

Natee Sukonrat (Col. Dr )

Aaron Burstein

Aaron Burstein

Adriana Labardini

Adriana Labardini

Alfredo Rafael Deluque Zuleta (Dr)

Alfredo Rafael Deluque Zuleta (Dr)

Andrew Barendse (Dr)

Andrew Barendse (Dr)

Angelo Marcello Cardani (Professor )

Angelo Marcello Cardani (Professor )

Talks on Privacy, Safety, Security

  • Open letter calls for UK to abandon chat services surveillance proposal

    A proposal by the UK’s security agency, GCHQ, that would enable eavesdropping on encrypted chat services has been condemned as a “serious threat” to digital security and human rights, reports the Guardian. “In an open letter signed by more than 50 companies, civil society organisations and security experts – including Apple, WhatsApp, Liberty and Privacy International – GCHQ was called on to abandon its so-called ‘ghost protocol’, and instead focus on ‘protecting privacy rights, cybersecurity, public confidence, and transparency’.

  • 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.

  • Child protection agency calls for social media regulation

    A survey commissioned by the NSPCC, a UK child protection charity, reveals that 9 out of 10 parents support the regulation of social networks to make them legally responsible for protecting children, and 6 out of 10 adults do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming and inappropriate content like self-harm and suicide.

  • 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?

Blogs on Privacy, Safety, Security

  • 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. Read
    European Commission publishes report on fake news and disinformation

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

  • Privacy Research Directions

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

  • Solving the Information Crisis

    With fake news - or rather, misinformation – running rife, there is an urgent need to establish trust and accountability in the media. The LSE’s ROS TAYLOR continues the discussion of this key issue.

    April 2019, Volume 47 Issue 1

  • How Susceptible are Internet Users?

    Amid the concern about the impact of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, WILLIAM DUTTON and LALEAH FERNANDEZ find there is not such a big problem – and a solution lies in ‘nudge’ theory.

    December/January 2019, Volume 46 Issue 4

  • 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

  • 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

  • Taking Aim at Big Tech

    The technology giants have concentrated power in too few hands, writes SÉBASTIEN SORIANO, chairman of France’s regulator, Arcep. He proposes  ‘Robin Hood’ style regulation to redistribute internet wealth to the many.

    Julyl 2019, Volume 47 Issue  2

Regulatory Watch articles on Privacy, Safety, Security

  • Facebook highlights data portability issues

    Facebook has called on regulators and other experts to answer key questions to help it forge its strategy around protecting user privacy while meeting demand for increased data portability, notes Mobile World Live.

  • France’s regulators draw up data-driven memo; Arcep reports on future networks

    Several French regulators – the competition authority, AMF, Arafer, Arcep, CNIL, CRE and CSA –  have held a meeting to draw up a memorandum on data-driven regulation, which they say “creates the ability to make stakeholders more accountable, increases the regulator’s capacity for analysis and makes more information available to users and civil society”.

  • Singapore launches digital industry and cybersecurity initiatives

    Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore and the regulator, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), have joined forces to establish Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), to better support and capitalise on the growth opportunities for Singapore’s technology sector.

  • Mission to Georgia helped build its regulatory framework

    A 19 month project with over 190 expert missions to Georgia comprising Lithuanian, German and Polish experts has helped define secondary legislation and guidelines on communications in line with EU standards for the country.

  • UN reports on surveillance software and human rights

    The Citizen Lab, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, has commented on two reports issued by United Nations Special Rapporteurs “that demonstrate the dangerous effects of unchecked technology in the hands of autocrats”...

  • Social media can combat extremist groups – report

    Removing extremist groups from social media is an effective way of destroying their fan bases, according to a study by the Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology. As the National reports, the researchers found that radical groups do not necessarily thrive on alternative platforms once they have been removed from the mainstream.

  • European Commission embarks on pilot phase in AI ethics

    The European Commission has launched the pilot phase of its ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI). At the first AI Alliance Assembly, held in Brussels, the High-Level Expert Group on AI announced two developments, including an assessment list for trustworthy AI, developed by a group of 52 independent experts.

  • Brazil approves data protection as a fundamental right

    The Brazilian Senate has approved a proposal to add protection of data in digital platforms to the list of fundamental rights and individual citizen guarantees set out in the country's constitution, reports ZDNet.

  • Mission to Georgia helped build its regulatory framework

    A 19 month project with over 190 expert missions to Georgia comprising Lithuanian, German and Polish experts has helped define secondary legislation and guidelines on communications in line with EU standards for the country.

  • Opportunity to act on facial recognition technology may be lost in the US

    An article in Wired notes that after revelations about how law enforcement agencies in the US have deployed facial recognition, “Congress seemed, for a moment, galvanised to act".

  • UK business body calls for a digital economy regulator

    Britain’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for a new, independent regulator that can play “a crucial role in building trust in the digital economy”. It says that current proposals risk falling short of the UK government’s ambition to be the best and safest place to build a digital business.

  • What makes an Electronic Communications Service? (Part 2)

    On 13 June 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) published its ruling on the classification of Gmail in the EU following a request for a preliminary ruling from the German Courts. Gmail is a web-based email service, and is a type of “Over-The-Top” (“OTT”) service.

  • Open letter calls for UK to abandon chat services surveillance proposal

    A proposal by the UK’s security agency, GCHQ, that would enable eavesdropping on encrypted chat services has been condemned as a “serious threat” to digital security and human rights, reports the Guardian. “In an open letter signed by more than 50 companies, civil society organisations and security experts – including Apple, WhatsApp, Liberty and Privacy International – GCHQ was called on to abandon its so-called ‘ghost protocol’, and instead focus on ‘protecting privacy rights, cybersecurity, public confidence, and transparency’.

  • French agencies examine the connected speaker market

    Hadopi, the France’s copyright agency, and Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), France’s media regulator, have conducted a joint study on the connected speaker market, which is an issue for both institutions. These issues are also of interest to other regulatory authorities, including telecoms regulator, ARCEP, the competition authority, and CNIL, the data privacy agency, which contributed to the work.

  • US committee investigates the dominance of tech giants

    The US House Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into the market dominance of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, starting with a look at the impact of the tech giants’ platforms on news content, the media and the spread of misinformation online, reports Courthouse News.

  • ‘Deepfake’ videos pose political threat

    Top artificial-intelligence researchers are racing to defuse an extraordinary political weapon: computer-generated fake videos that could undermine candidates and mislead voters during the 2020 presidential campaign, reports the Washington Post.

  • Parents seeking safety in the digital world

    “95% of parents want more information about online safety,” says Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, who has conducted research on parenting in the digital age. The first government agency in the world dedicated to online safety, eSafety produced the report ‘Parenting in the digital age’ to explore the experience of parents and carers raising children in a fast-paced connected world.

  • EU Court of Justice Determines that SkypeOut is an Electronic Communications Service

    On 5 June 2019, the Court of Justice of the EU ("CJEU") published its ruling on the classification of SkypeOut in the EU following a request for a preliminary ruling from the Belgian Courts. Skype is a Voice over IP service ("VoIP") whereas the SkypeOut component is an interconnected VoIP service that allows the service to dial out to landline and mobile numbers.

  • San Francisco could ban official use of facial recognition technology

    San Francisco officials have voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology by city personnel, in a move to regulate tools that local Silicon Valley companies helped develop, reports Reuters.

  • Rwanda set to regulate social media

    Rwanda’s government is aiming to regulate social media content, a move which is intended to curb the spread of misinformation, according to the minister for ICT and innovation, Paula Ingabire, as AllAfrica reports.

  • Ofcom’s CEO highlights risk of lack of telecoms equipment choice

    Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom, the UK regulator, has said that the small number of equipment suppliers has created systemic risks to the country’s networks that may need to be addressed with regulation. She made the remarks amid tensions with the US over whether Britain will permit equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei to be used for next-generation 5G telecom services, reports Bloomberg.

  • FTC releases review of last year’s privacy and data security work

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the primary privacy and data security enforcer in the US, has released its annual report highlighting its privacy and data security work for 2018.

  • Digital rights and fake news laws passed in Russia

    Russian lawmakers have established “digital rights” in domestic law as the basis for the digital economy, and have also introduced a package of bills to tackle fake news, reports the Global Legal Post.

  • UK upper house calls for digital ‘super-regulator’

    The UK’s House of Lords has called for the creation of a digital super-regulator to oversee the different bodies charged with safeguarding the internet and replace the “clearly failing” system of self-regulation by big technology companies, reports the Guardian.

  • Child protection agency calls for social media regulation

    A survey commissioned by the NSPCC, a UK child protection charity, reveals that 9 out of 10 parents support the regulation of social networks to make them legally responsible for protecting children, and 6 out of 10 adults do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming and inappropriate content like self-harm and suicide.

  • Hard hitting UK report on fake news focuses on Facebook

    The final report in the UK of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news has accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections, reports the Guardian.

  • Germany aims to control not ban equipment vendors

    Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, “has thrown his weight behind a proposal to reform Germany’s telecoms law to toughen security requirements on foreign network vendors”, reports Reuters, citing reports from the country.

  • UK review of journalism tackles “uneven balance of power”

    A review by Dame Frances Cairncross into the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK has been published, making proposals “designed to encourage new models to emerge, with the help of innovation not just in technology but in business systems and journalistic techniques”.

  • France cannot impose “right to be forgotten” on Google

    The advocate general of the European Court of Justice has given his opinion on the “right to be forgotten” conflict between France and Google, and the opinion is relatively simple: France does not have the right to impose its own considerations on a company which operates outside its jurisdiction, notes Telecoms.com. 

  • The internet is fragmenting into four entities

    A recent paper by British academics from Southampton University claims that the internet is splitting into four distinct governance entities. They say that the internet is a fragile construction of hardware, software, standards and databases and is run by an ever-expanding range of private and public actors constrained only by voluntary protocols and subject to political pressure. 

  • GDPR privacy violations reported by enforcement organisation

    A test by noyb, a European non-profit organisation for privacy enforcement, shows violations of privacy law by most streaming services. In more than 10 test cases was able to identify violations of Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by companies including Amazon, Apple, DAZN, Spotify and Netflix, and it has filed 10 strategic complaints against 8 companies. 

  • UN ramps up internet resolutions

    The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has passed a record number of resolutions relevant for internet policy at its latest session, notes the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). 

  • New European Electronic Communications Code means the application of the ePrivacy Directive to OTTs

    As of Dec. 21, 2020, the obligations of the current ePrivacy Directive will apply to instant messaging applications, email, internet phone calls and personal messaging provided through social media — collectively, over-the-top services — in addition to traditional telecom providers.

  • FCC votes to classify SMS as information services

    Wireless operators got what they were asking for when the FCC voted 3:1 to deny requests from Twilio and others to classify text messaging services as “telecommunications services”, which would subject them to harsher regulation, reports FierceWireless.

  • France’s president calls for internet governance reform

    The 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Paris recently saw the first appearance at the annual event of a UN secretary general, and also a speech by Emmanuel Macron, in which he said the internet is “profoundly threatened” by cyber attacks, hate speech and disinformation, and by the internet giants.

  • LSE proposes online platform watchdog for the UK

    The LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission at the London School of Economics has published a report, “Tackling the information crisis”, in which the key proposal is for an independent platform agency for the UK that would be a watchdog – rather than a regulator...

  • French president speaks out on the internet and democracy

    French president Emmanuel Macron has insisted that new laws are needed to limit and protect online content and the internet itself, reports the Register. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, Macron made repeated calls for additional regulation, and complained about the “false alternative” of self-regulation or government control.

  • European Data Protection Supervisor urges progress on e-privacy

    Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor, has written that a “swarm of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounds the case for revising our rules on the confidentiality of electronic communications, otherwise known as e-privacy.

  • 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.

  • Q&A with Madeleine de Cock Buning

    Professor Madeleine de Cock Buning Chairs the High Level Expert Group advising the EU Commission on Fake News and online disinformation and is Chair of The Regulatory Authority to the Media in the Netherlands.

  • 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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