The PARADISO project has now published an updated version of their reference document to reflect their conference discussions in January on ICT for a global sustainable future. You can comment at their website:
This document further develops the PARADISO vision and explores a new concept of progress that developed, emerging, and developing countries might share, aiming at a true sustainable development, a more sustainable economic growth, more equally shared resources, and eventually the well-being of peoples around the world, measured through a new index related to the progress of societies. The document also investigates the role that ICT can play in the hypothesis of such global societal developments, and derives the strategic research areas that can usefully be explored in the short term in order that suited solutions can be made available in the future.
Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding has followed up the forthright comments on privacy last week from Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva. In a video message she makes the following comments:
“European privacy rules are crystal clear: a person’s information can only be used with their prior consent. We cannot give up this basic principle, and have all our exchanges monitored, surveyed and stored in exchange for a promise of ‘more relevant’ advertising! I will not shy away from taking action where an EU country falls short of this duty.”
Reding added that RFID chips would work only “if they are used by the consumer and not on the consumer. No European should carry a chip in one of their possessions without being informed precisely what they are used for, with the choice to remove or switch it off at any time.”
Mrs Reding also is concerned by social network sites:
“Privacy must in my view be a high priority for social networking providers and their users. I firmly believe that at least the profiles of minors must be private by default and unavailable to internet search engines. The European Commission has already called on social networking sites to deal with minors’ profiles carefully, by means of self-regulation. I am ready to follow this up with new rules if I have to.”
To round off this flurry of activity, the Commission launched the first phase of proceedings against the UK for “several problems with the UK’s implementation of EU ePrivacy and personal data protection rules, under which EU countries must ensure, among other things, the confidentiality of communications by prohibiting interception and surveillance without the user’s consent.” The UK now has two months to respond, before potentially being taken to the European Court of Justice.