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Online Data Processing Consent Under EU Law: A Theoretical Framework and Empirical Evidence from the UKThis article analyses the results of an empirical study on the 200 most popular UK-based websites in various sectors of e-commerce services. The study provides empirical evidence on unlawful processing of personal data. It comprises a survey on the methods used to seek and obtain consent to process personal data for direct marketing and advertisement, and a test on the frequency of unsolicited commercial emails (UCE) received by customers as a consequence of their registration and submission of personal information to a website. Part one of the article presents a conceptual and normative account of data protection with a discussion of the ethical values on which European Union (EU) data protection law is grounded and an outline of the elements that must be in place to seek and obtain valid consent to process personal data. Part two discusses the outcomes of the empirical study, which unveils a significant departure between EU legal theory and practice in data protection. Although a wide majority of the websites in the sample (69 per cent) has in place a system to ask separate consent for engaging in marketing activities, it is only 16.2 per cent of them that obtain a consent which is valid under the standards set by EU law. The test with UCE shows that only one out of three websites (30.5 per cent) respects the will of the data subject not to receive commercial communications. It also shows that, when submitting personal data in online transactions, there is a high probability (50 per cent) of incurring in a website that will ignore the refusal of consent and will send UCE. The article concludes that there is a severe lack of compliance of UK online service providers with essential requirements of data protection law. In this respect, it suggests that there is an inappropriate standard of implementation, information and supervision by the UK authorities, especially in light of the clarifications provided at EU level.
Australian Computer Society 2016 federal election manifestoThe Australian Computer Society, – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – has released its Federal Election Manifesto, identifying five key policy areas that must be addressed if Australia is to secure its economic future in the information age. 1. Digital skills and digital literacy 2. Diversity 3. Cyber security 4. NBN 5. Policy framework &nbsp; EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This upcoming Federal election comes at a time when the speed, breadth and depth of changes in our society are unprecedented in human history. The changes are being driven by a combination of rapid advances in technology, exponential growth in computing power, and global connectivity. We now live in the information age. An age which opens up exciting new opportunities and potentially greater wealth and higher standards of living. It is an age where radical new business models are emerging, no market is out of reach, there is low cost of entry for new players, innovative new products and services can spring from anywhere on the planet, and the old rules for achieving growth and profitability no longer apply. However, at a human level this journey in to the information age brings with it significant disruption. Many millions of jobs will disappear and be replaced by new ones. Many of the new jobs are as yet undefined but they will require different skills, a changed skills mix and a culture of resilience and ongoing learning. This has significant implications for the current workforce, for our students who will be the workforce of tomorrow, and for governments as they seek to grow economies and at the same time maintain a harmonious and socially-inclusive society. Against this backdrop and in this context, the ACS sees this current Federal election as a potential tipping point in our national aspirations for future generations. It is an election in which our political parties must acknowledge the depth and implications of digital disruption and seek to construct a policy program and adopt a philosophical approach to government which will best equip Australia to fully grasp the opportunities of the information age. This means leaving behind much of the previously conventional approaches to policy and adopting fresh, innovative and bold new ways of addressing the challenges before us. The ACS therefore asks our political parties to focus on five issues which we believe are pivotal if Australia is to capture the benefits of digital disruption and ensure current and future generations do not get left behind. In each of these policy areas the ACS makes a number of recommendations.
The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2014Since the late 1990s access to
information and communication technologies (ICTs) has seen
tremendous growth driven primarily by the wireless
technologies and liberalization of telecommunications
markets. Mobile communications have evolved from simple
voice and text services to diversified innovative
applications and mobile broadband Internet. By the end of
2013, there were an estimated 6.8 billion mobile-cellular
subscriptions globally. The number of individuals using the
Internet has risen constantly and reached an estimated 2.7
billion while the number of fixed (wired)- broadband
subscriptions reached almost 700 million at the end of 2013.
The Little Data Book on Information and Communication
Technology 2014 illustrates the progress of this revolution
for 214 economies around the world. It provides comparable
statistics on the sector for 2005 and 2012 across a range of
indicators, enabling readers to readily compare economies.
This book includes indicators covering the economic and
social context, the structure of the information and
communication technology sector, sector efficiency and
capacity, and sector performance related to access, usage,
quality, affordability, trade, and applications. The
glossary contains definitions of the terms used in the tables.
Whose Burden is it Anyway? Addressing the Needs of Content Owners in DMCA Safe HarborsMuch of today's network neutrality debate addresses concerns that cable providers will limit access to competing Web-based services delivering multimedia content. While proposals to mandate nondiscrimination for all Internet traffic surely will help create a competitive environment where online entertainment providers can prosper, ISP interference is not the only threat. Online entertainment sites that relay user-generated content are threatened by crippling litigation brought by copyright holders for actions taken by third parties using their services. Reliance on the safe harbors provided in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has, in most cases, proved unsuccessful. This Note addresses the concerns of both copyright holders and online service providers by looking at the pending $1 billion Viacom v. YouTube litigation, concluding that more liberal use of the safe harbor's "standard technical measure" provision will satisfy both parties' interests. The proposed solution will limit the threat posed by online service providers to content owners while simultaneously encouraging online commerce and competition by reducing the threat of litigation.