Archive for October, 2013

The Snowden Effect: The European Union Seeks to integrate Data Privacy into Digital Economy;  Implementation will certainty be  a challenge – how to integrate all definitions of what privacy is.

EU leaders: Data protection essential to digital economy

Image source: Telefonica.com

Image source: Telefonica.com

All 28 leaders of the E.U. member states discussed issues of data protection, mass surveillance and the digital economy at a meeting that continued late into the night on Thursday. However, the meeting was dragged out with discussion on the subject of alleged illegal snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency, among others. Allegations that the NSA hacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone gave impetus to this debate…Also on the agenda was the overhaul of Europe’s data protection laws, although these would not have had any impact on any alleged spying. The new data protection regulation got the thumbs-up in a key committee vote in the European Parliament on Monday and negotiations with the E.U. member states were expected to begin soon.

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Cloud_computing_types.svg (1)

Image Source: Sam Joton – Wikipedia

Increasingly, individuals, entities, and organizations store and access large amounts of data in the cloud. However, how can any entity ensure that their data receives the same data privacy protection in the Cloud? How do you comply with various national data privacy laws if no standard static definition of privacy exists? Do nations have to eventually demarcate ‘cloud’ national borders? The Australian Govt is working on addressing this issue…

In particular, the trend towards remote data hosting sees data crossing jurisdictional boundaries at a whim, which is putting data access and privacy at risk. Put simply, if your cloud provider stores your data offshore, or is even headquartered outside the country, Australia’s stringent privacy laws may not apply. So the answer to the question, “does it really matter where my data is stored and by whom?”, is yes, it should. However, it’s important to understand that not all data is created equal and not all data has the same value or risk profile attached to it. So, for example, the ‘where’ may not matter to a website (as it contains readily available public information), but the ‘whom’ may, as a website should be protected or secure to an appropriate level to avoid being hacked for instance. In contrast, more sensitive and private information, such as customers’ personal details, may deem both the ‘whom’ and ‘where’ as vital…And although there are emerging international agreements that attempt to address this issue, expectations for data security can vary wildly between different nations. For instance, the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime came into force in Australia in March, but many nations still haven’t signed up to these sorts of agreements, and there’s considerable difference in the weight they carry between national jurisdictions.  The clouded issue of data sovereignty  http://tiny.cc/ye3b4w

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