Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Case C-582/14, Breyer – seeing the logs from the trees in privacy law: EU Law Radar

Case C-582/14, Breyer – seeing the logs from the trees in privacy law | EU Law Radar: "The Advocate General’s Opinion is not yet available in English but my unofficial translation of his conclusion reads:

1. Pursuant to Article 2(a) of the Directive, a dynamic IP address with which a user has gained access to a website from a supplier of electronic media services constitutes personal data when an internet service provider has the supplementary details which, together with the dynamic IP address, make it possible to identify the user.

2. Article 7(f) of the Directive must therefore be interpreted to mean that the aim of guaranteeing the proper working of the electronic media service can in principle be considered to be a legitimate interest that justifies the processing of the aforementioned personal data providing that that interest prevails over the interest or the fundamental rights of the person concerned. A national provision which does not allow that legitimate interest to be taken into account is incompatible with that Article." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

How the U.S. Could Regulate Facebook - Zittrain

How the U.S. Could Regulate Facebook - The Atlantic: "Congress could also insist that certain standards had to be upheld during curation. In the early 1990s, Congress began requiring cable companies to offer a broadcast station (like the local ABC or NBC affiliate) if the signal from that station’s antenna reached a cable subscriber’s home. The courts eventually upheld this “must carry” provision because it was “content neutral”—it regulated speech without abridging the meaning or political view.

 But Zittrain said there may be an even more promising way to keep Facebook from acting against its users’ interest. In an unpublished paper that he is writing with Jack Balkin, a Constitutional law professor at Yale Law School, Zittrain recommends that certain massive repositories of user data—like Apple, Facebook, and Google—be offered a chance to declare themselves “information fiduciaries.” An information fiduciary would owe certain protections to its users, closing the “disconnect between the level of trust we place in [online services] and the level of trust in fact owed to us,” according to the paper.

The key to this idea? Facebook might opt into this regulation itself." 'via Blog this'

Friday, 13 May 2016

Facebook Needs to Grow Up

Facebook Needs to Grow Up: "Unsurprisingly, Facebook has been unwilling to increase its transparency as it increases its power. It’s not obligated to, but it would be nice for a company with the reach and ubiquity of a public institution to have a clear sense of purpose beyond sheer growth, and an explanation of how its products serve that purpose." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

FRAND is no friend: How to make EU tech standards compatible with open source

FRAND is no friend: How to make EU tech standards compatible with open source | Ars Technica UK: "Given this fact that FRAND is simply not compatible with open source, how did it come to pass that the European Commission should put FRAND licensing at the very heart of its new ICT standardisation strategy?

 After my article about the apparent decision by the European Commission to shut open source out in this way, I managed to talk to someone senior who had been involved in the process. It took me about half an hour to get across why exactly FRAND licensing was incompatible with open source, but in the end the person I was talking to recognised that there was in fact a serious problem.

 I've also heard through other channels that people within the Commission were rather taken aback by my analysis, since they too were not aware of the huge problem the new Digital Single Market policy would represent for free software. They were under the impression that the references to supporting open source elsewhere in that policy was enough.

This overlooks the fundamental role that licensing plays in open source, and na├»vely assumes that things can somehow be tweaked to allow FRAND compatibility. But as I've described, that's simply not the case." 'via Blog this'

Swedish Radio website blocked in Russia - Radio Sweden

Swedish Radio website blocked in Russia - Radio Sweden | Sveriges Radio: "Russia has interpreted Radio Sweden's article as having been propaganda promoting suicide, forbidden under Russian law, and in a letter to Sveriges Radio's listener services, Russia's Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications,

ROSKOMNADZOR, wrote threatening to block access to Swedish Radio's website unless the article was removed. It wasn't.

Thomas Rotermund, the head of security at Swedish Radio, told Radio Sweden's Russian department that it does not appear as though the site has been widely blocked in Russia. " 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Adblocking: advertising 'accounts for half of data used to read articles'

Adblocking: advertising 'accounts for half of data used to read articles' | Media | The Guardian: "The small-scale study looked at six unnamed “popular publishers”, both with and without an adblocker, and found that anywhere between 18% and 79% of the data downloaded was from ads.

In addition, anywhere between 6% and 68% of the downloaded data was from JavaScript, which is used to deliver more interactive elements of both editorial and advertising on pages." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, 8 May 2016

OffData: a prosumer law agency to govern big data in the public interest

I will discuss the regulation of big data. Big data has the ability to transform the regulation of the economy and the governance of society. Collection as well as processing of such data can include sensitive personal data, with as little as two matching items enabling de-anonymisation. Bulk automated data collection also infringes European laws on data protection. If regulation of big data collection and processing lags severely behind business processes, so also competition law faces existential crises dealing with big data curators. Search engines and social media platforms, amongst others, have such a huge trawl of data that they are able to “pick winners” among sectoral competitors in for instance retail and transportation, in what is becoming known as "surveillance capitalism". Governments also increasingly rely on these big data brokers to support services, compromising regulatory independence. What is needed is a more holistic regulatory framework to help govern big data in the public interest and permit users to take back individual and collective control of their data: a prosumer law agency ‘OffData’.
{See earliest Giddens, A. (1995). Surveillance and the capitalist state. In A contemporary critique of historical materialism, 2nd Edn. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan}