Monday, February 11, 2013

What's wrong with data protection?


On the 31 January I went to the conference titled ‘What’s wrong with data protection,' organized by Greens/EFA in the European parliament. There were many different speakers representing unalike views on the same issue. The discussions were very interesting and instructive and gave me many interesting ideas to think about.

Recorded stream of the hearing is available here.

Very interesting issue in upcoming data protection legislation is the issue of consent, especially how is explicit consent defined. The issue of consent is especially important because it represent one of the six legal grounds for processing of users’ personal data. Many opinions crash when it comes to this question. Some defend the need of explicit consent and others that it does not need to be expressed explicitly in all cases. With later is often mentioned also raising the awareness among users. Therefore users would understand that with using some service their personal data that has been collected in that particular time will be used for data profiling.

Inspired by this issue I addressed a question to the Swedish MEP Mrs Corazza Bildt (01:06:15 on the video, part 01), who is one of defenders of non- (always) explicit consent.

 I asked: “How would you raise the awareness? If you want to have explicit consent only in certain cases like you mentioned then people need to be well informed about what they are doing online and about consequences of their actions of clicking on pages. If you had in mind for instance classes at school, usually only primary school is obligatory. What about people who are over 14? How can they raise their awareness and educate themselves about this issue? Did you have in mind maybe free seminars?