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Civil Liberties, cloud computing, Core Internet Values, News, privacy

Europe’s proposed Online Privacy Laws: Template for the World

European Commission's Vice President for Justice, Viviane Reding
“Companies must be transparent about what they are doing,” said Viviane Reding, the European Commission’s vice president for justice.


Europe is considering a sweeping new law that would force Internet companies like and Facebook to obtain [highlight_1] explicit consent from consumers [/highlight_1] about the use of their personal data, delete that data forever at the consumer’s request and face fines for failing to comply…

The proposed law strikes at the heart of some of the knottiest questions governing digital life and commerce: who owns personal data, what happens to it once it is posted online…

“Companies must be transparent about what they are doing, clear about which data is being used for what,” the European Commission’s vice president for justice, Viviane Reding, said in a recent telephone interview. “I am absolutely persuaded the new law is necessary to have, on the one hand, better protection of the constitutional rights of our citizens and more flexibility for companies to utilize our Continent.”

Ms. Reding is scheduled to release the proposed regulation on Wednesday in Brussels. The European Parliament is expected to deliberate on the proposal in the coming months, and the law, if approved, would go into effect by 2014…

One of the most contested provisions of the European law is the so-called right to be forgotten, which refers to an Internet user’s right to demand that his or her accumulated data on a particular site be deleted forever. “When a citizen has asked to get it back, then the data has to be given back,” Ms. Reding said in the interview. “When an individual no longer wants his data to be processed, it will be deleted.”…

Read more from of this report by Kevin J O’Brien at the New York Times

# Individual Comments:   There are positive clauses in the proposed Law to be soon introduced by Vice President Reding. However, the proposed Law looks only into the Individual Vs Companies situation, and could as well extend to situations where Governments access Citizen’s data. The proposed Law could also look into the moral and legal aspects of Social Networking Companies and ISPs opening doors to Governments, often by direct and indirect pressure on them.

The right to be forgotten would be somewhat pointless if copies are retained by Governments ahead of deletion by social networks or by the individual users.

Europe could go one step beyond the “right to be forgotten” and examine what could be called the “right to refuse access to one’s own information”, whether the information is shared within one’s own personal or corporate network, or placed on the cloud in the individual’s ‘private’ storage space. The individual does not transfer the powers to the social networks and the cloud computing companies to grant access to Governments, so the law could clearly state that the companies require the consent of the individual before opening up their data servers / networks for access by Governments.

cloud computing, News

ISOC-NY Event: Eben Moglen on Cloud Computing

The New York Chapter of the Intrnet Society just held an event to discuss the privacy aspects of cloud computing. The guest speaker was Eben Moglen, general counsel of the Free Software Foundation.

He had some novel ideas on how to reclaim privacy whilst engaging in social networking, and challenges the tech community to make them a reality.

Eben Moglen, Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University, and founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, spoke about “Freedom in the Cloud: Software Freedom, Privacy and Security for Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing” on Friday, February 5, 2010.




Video is below:

Everyone wants a piece of you these days: Google, Facebook, Flickr, Apple, AT&T, Bing. They’ll give you free e-mail, free photo storage, free web hosting, even a free date. They just want to listen in. And you can’t wait to let them. They’ll store your stuff, they’ll organize your photos, they’ll keep track of your appointments, as long as they can watch. It all goes into the “Cloud.”

How we got here is quite a scary story. But nowhere near as scary as getting out again. Eben Moglen, a Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University and the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center, warned you about privacy and the cloud before. At a public meeting of the Internet Society of New York on February 5, Moglen asked you to consider how much worse things have become since then and explain what you can do to reclaim your freedom in the era of Web 2.0.

ogv | ipod | youtube

ogv | ipod | youtube


cloud computing, Internet, News

Vint Cerf calls for Intercloud Computing protocols

from ISOC New York’s Notice Board, posted by Joly MacFie