#womenindigital – #endusers #digital info-sec -Viviane Reding commissioner in charge -Europe to issue new data-protection rules, what does this mean for many end users?

Posted on January 26, 2012


 The conversation in the digital age is about data & privacy. As a women in digital sector, as began this journey to find end point safety & protection solution from an end user point of view “protecting my personal data and my privacy is critical in the 21st century,  we as end users have privacy rights in the real world and what about our privacy digital privacy rights. This in my opinion is about a human rights issue point of view and in addition for many innocent humanity globally, be it on any communication devices, internet and over social media sites.

 As innocent users of technologies one wonders what rights do they have from an end point of view and what rights do they have for protecting their own privacy? Today most of us don’t quite have digital rights when it comes to our identity or our information and if I am a parent what rights do my kids have? I find people posting children’s pictures I am talking about children in the developing countries –who is protecting them and what rights do they have? We are now facing a different kind of a problem for their safety and protection.  Please understand, I am not against technology innovation nor am I against any internet technology sites, I am bringing awareness around the danger of “internet” and hey!!! Let us not forget by posting pictures of innocent children and women who are at risk over social sites is violating their rights? I am talking of children in developing countries. As users of the web tools we do drive many of these technology company businesses to the next level. Ultimately it all about the bottom line monetary costs vs. human costs.   So where is CSR here with technology companies and International Development Organizations, Foundations or NGOs? Digital technology is great for economy, great for their business and creates big revenues globally for them. We end users are the driving force when it comes to digital economy,  We as end users be it  activists, citizen journalists , advocacy groups communicating to spread our message should also have privacy and protection rights, so we are not compromised. In addition who has the right to our “data or content” when parked on many of the social sites” I believe privacy and protection and safety should be a concern to many leaders working with children and women at risk.  

Privacy rights from an end user point and what is taking place in Europe 

The EU has unveiled tough new rules on protecting internet users personal data that have far-reaching implications for web giants such as Google and Facebook. The proposals would significantly boost regulators’ data protection powers. Companies could be fined up to one percent of their global revenues for violating the rules. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said: “Citizens will have to know how their data is processed. Second: a consent to use data will be necessary, to be given the explicit consent by the citizens.” The EU said the new system would boost business by simplifying current, diversified rules. The new regime will need to be approved by national governments and the legislative process is likely to take at least two years, so the rules could yet be changed”

WHO is protecting  innocent children and women in the developing countries? what rights do they have? what rights do we as users of  Internet and technology have from an end point of view? What rights do all the activists have in other parts of the developing countries ? who really protects our information and  do we all have privacy rights in the digital age?  These are questions I keep asking technologists to help me understand how to protect my digital rights?  when I develop content and as I access Internet to communicate with my device?  with other users what rights do many innocent children and women have? in developing countries.

I truly believe this is an important issue from a human rights side of protection  and also for innocent humanity especially  innocent children, women,younger girls, and boys  globally as end users and as defined by “COPA” – Child Online Protection Act, which was approved by Congress in October 1998. The primary purpose of the Commission is to “identify technological or other methods that will help reduce access by minors to material that is harmful to minors on the Internet.”   http://www.copacommission.org/commission/technologies.shtml


Here is the latest and what is taking place in Europe.


European data protection  “The unveiled rules for the EU’s data privacy law revamp includes 24-hour breach notification, appointing a data protection officer and required user consent for online data access.


 “Europe proposed some pretty strong strict new data privacy rules on Wednesday, putting greater responsibility on companies such as Facebook to protect users’ information and it event went as far as threatening those who breach the code with heavy fines

Viviane Reding, is the European commissioner in charge of data privacy, she said the proposed laws were necessary if consumers’ data and privacy were to be better protected in the modern age.

This is what she said: “EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said: “The protection of personal data is a fundamental right for all Europeans, but citizens do not always feel in full control of their personal data. My proposals will help build trust in online services because people will be better informed about their rights and in more control of their information.”

Brussels, 25 January 2012 – The European Commission has today proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU’s 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy. Technological progress and globalisation have profoundly changed the way our data is collected, accessed and used. In addition, the 27 EU Member States have implemented the 1995 rules differently, resulting in divergences in enforcement. A single law will do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around €2.3 billion a year. The initiative will help reinforce consumer confidence in online services, providing a much needed boost to growth, jobs and innovation in Europe.

“17 years ago less than 1% of Europeans used the internet. Today, vast amounts of personal data are transferred and exchanged, across continents and around the globe in fractions of seconds,” said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, the Commission’s Vice-President. “The protection of personal data is a fundamental right for all Europeans, but citizens do not always feel in full control of their personal data. My proposals will help build trust in online services because people will be better informed about their rights and in more control of their information. The reform will accomplish this while making life easier and less costly for businesses. A strong, clear and uniform legal framework at EU level will help to unleash the potential of the Digital Single Market and foster economic growth, innovation and job creation.”

The Commission’s proposals update and modernise the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights in the future. They include a policy Communication setting out the Commission’s objectives and two legislative proposals: a Regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection and a Directive on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities.

Key changes in the reform include:

  • A single set of rules on data protection, valid across the EU. Unnecessary administrative requirements, such as notification requirements for companies, will be removed. This will save businesses around €2.3 billion a year.
  • Instead of the current obligation of all companies to notify all data protection activities to data protection supervisors – a requirement that has led to unnecessary paperwork and costs businesses €130 million per year, the Regulation provides for increased responsibility and accountability for those processing personal data.
  • For example, companies and organisations must notify the national supervisory authority of serious data breaches as soon as possible (if feasible within 24 hours).
  • Organisations will only have to deal with a single national data protection authority in the EU country where they have their main establishment. Likewise, people can refer to the data protection authority in their country, even when their data is processed by a company based outside the EU. Wherever consent is required for data to be processed, it is clarified that it has to be given explicitly, rather than assumed.
  • People will have easier access to their own data and be able to transfer personal data from one service provider to another more easily (right to data portability). This will improve competition among services.
  • A ‘right to be forgotten’ will help people better manage data protection risks online: people will be able to delete their data if there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
  • EU rules must apply if personal data is handled abroad by companies that are active in the EU market and offer their services to EU citizens.
  • Independent national data protection authorities will be strengthened so they can better enforce the EU rules at home. They will be empowered to fine companies that violate EU data protection rules. This can lead to penalties of up to €1 million or up to 2% of the global annual turnover of a company.
  • A new Directive will apply general data protection principles and rules for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The rules will apply to both domestic and cross-border transfers of data.

The Commission’s proposals will now be passed on to the European Parliament and EU Member States (meeting in the Council of Ministers) for discussion. They will take effect two years after they have been adopted.       Source http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/46&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

The issues of “human trafficking” http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/doc_centre/crime/docs/evaluation_eu_ms_thb_legislation_en.pdf

 What does this all mean for many end users?

I believe the issue of protection and safety from an end user point is critical, I am only speaking from an end user point of view, as I generate and design my own digital learning content over the internet and because of the kind of work I do with many innocent youth, women and children in developed and developing countries, this has been my concern how best to protect them? For me it has always been a critical issue to keep intruders out, when I first started my digital projects. Although innovation is wonderful within the tech sector and has brought us together, we still have to learn about the new evolution of digital information age and what cyber dangers will we face unless we focus on a solution to protection all innocent children and women who are also at risk.

When we truly understand what kind of dangers that are taking place via the internet and on many of these social networking sites, many innocent children and women globally pretty much do not have end point protection rights in many countries.

I am not just talking about innocent people in North America or Europe or in the developed countries, my focus has always been around the core issues in the developing countries for the innocent children, youth & women and as many NGOs work with their members globally via the internet and over social networking sites -they have a responsibility I suppose?

JUST think of how many innocent children, youth and women in the developing countries are on devices?  And who is protecting them? When organizations and their members who work in the educational sector or with organizations such as NGOs, Foundations don’t adopt best practice standards either  for the internet and may be putting innocent children & women in danger by not having end point  protected solutions as they bridge the digital divide.  It is a SHAME and quite a concern when the same global leaders who are taking a chance to put their own members and innocent women and children in danger in many parts of the developing countries.

It is important, we as adults must think of their safety FIRST, THEIR rights from an end user point of view and protect and demand that if there are solutions, than we must all work together to find these solutions, otherwise we are being unethical in our business practices.

Experts have been predicting about these  cyber dangers and threats which are currently taking place over internet and over many of the social networking sites.

I have tons of case studies, how some of these dangerous individuals are lurking on the internet & social sites.

IS THERE a win/win situation for us as end users and for those who work in the humanitarian sector, digital informal education and social media sector what are other solutions so we can be protected by using end point protected tools? –

This has been my advocacy to find an end point protected tool solutions! and how we as ethical civil societies – can MAKE SURE – we are being ethical when it comes to development for ICT and not just looking at it from the bottom line as monetary cost but looking at it from the human cost, we must make strong efforts to protect innocent children and women from the current dangers taking place as we all bridge the digital divide and access the internet and over many social sites. This why  my quest to find a simple solution for end user point protected tools  from an end user point of view mainly within the education & digital learning sector  as we bridge the digital divide.

For more information about me @”a gem of an idea” or click below to find out more about cyber threats & issues some of us are faced with these challenges and how internet and technology sites have no boundaries. It is a double edged sword or a weapon in my opinion for illegal activities that are taking place in the digital information age.

Although new innovative techniques and technologies  are constantly being implemented and regulations being adopted to combat and eradicate diverse forms of human trafficking, unfortunately MANY within the United Nations and Foundational organizations cannot solve “the dangers of the internet” from an end user point of view . Yet ICTs are now providing new means and tools that facilitate negative criminal activities such as “human trafficking via the internet” and especially for sexual exploitation. Read “Face book rapist” on my blog link and on such a basis, that these new forms of organized crime are now using “internet technology sites” – to track some of us who are speaking about these issues and sending dangerous malware links at the same time. In my opinion we are now presenting new challenges at the same time. I believe other global humanitarian organizations, lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, and trans -national human rights organizations are faced with a dilemma? This necessitates the existence of an effective high level national as well as domestic organizations or mechanisms that monitor the utilization of ”ICT” for criminal activities and  at the same time still UPHOLD essential human rights and freedoms without violating   individuals digital rights. Unfortunately it is a double edge weapon around these issues. There should ACTUALLY be a solution by adopting  best practice standard tools for the internet with all the  foundations, United Nations and all their  agencies globally who are working with innocent children and women as they bridge the digital divide over the internet – UNFORTUNATELY they are not is my observation.

We all agree internet has been a medium for connecting and as they say “it is a medium for the message” we are now dealing around human rights issue. Freedom for information & speech is also part of the human rights issue and I agree- but at what price when we are also compromising children and women’s rights that are at risk. I found even after speaking with several global leaders who run these NGOs and Foundations they refuse to listen. Let us face it, these are critical issues we need to deal with as cyber dangers are taking place and when we as ethical leaders compromise our children and future generations for the monetary cost, we are putting all innocent children and women in severe danger without addressing these issues.  How best to solve this and if we are using the internet in schools or connecting students to join social sites without protecting all the members and those who work with global organizations? Internet is a blessing or it can be curse – and there is a dark side of the Internet and the same platforms are now being used by criminals to exploit innocent humanity in developing countries.

View the UN Resolution “criminals for their activities on human trafficking and Internet” as defined under the United Nations Resolution ACT “Human Rights Council Eleventh Session Resolution 11/3. Trafficking in persons, especially women and children ”The use of new information technologies and including the  Internet, for the purposes of exploitation of the prostitution of others and other forms of sexual exploitation, for trafficking in women as brides and for sex tourism, child pornography, pedophilia and any other forms of sexual exploitation of children.

For more info about why the fight & quest to finding a solution, for “end user protected tools -multimedia” and the inspiration behind this work and vision click –https://mymulticast.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/1272/?preview=true

If you are interested in finding more about my work as a digital activist, contact me and  I  will expand on  how we can solve this issues, as I work with technologists in who are in the cyber security sector and how collectively we can solve these issues, work together in finding solutions and fight cyber threats and by making sure we protect innocent children, women and youth globally as end users as leaders who believe in ethics and if we don’t it will not just effect children on computer and on their mobile devices.. Don’t just listen to me, experts have been  speaking of these issues for the last few years and threats are evolving now towards the mobile sector and scammers don’t just lure you into visiting their websites via email, Facebook and Twitter – links and you can be targeted via  your mobile phone at the same time.

Although technology companies are developing innovative solutions such as mobile application to fight human trafficking or dangers, alerting parents to stay connected to children and block ways on their devices, unfortunately cyber dangerous intruders are now using new methods to connect with end users over various sites and these dangers are taking place and if not well thought out you as leaders may put innocent children and women in danger, according to many cyber security experts.

 Technology is increasingly important for organized criminals, and at the same time for the law enforcements and police in their efforts to communicate with each other, in this case for them to act quickly around the dangers of organized crime. One interesting issue and problem is the fact that the law and tech companies reacts slowly to answering end users and as new internet technologies keep sprouting up, I am sure they can’t keep up with all these technological changes, unfortunately the end result- that the use of some technologies falls outside the scope of cyber boundaries.

 Follow my vision for this solution and follow what  ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO   is saying around cyber dangers, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_ikx0_erfU as he is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. My advocacy is to bring this awareness to many “global humanitarian organizations” working with innocent humanity globally and especially in many developing countries, who work in the humanitarian sector as they all bridge the digital divide and how do many of the  UN Resolutions, laws and acts apply to innocent children and women to be protected in developing countries apply to many of the agencies that work with innocent humanity apply on social sites & internet as explained by United Nations Resolution ACT “Human Rights Council Eleventh Session Resolution 11/3.

Catch the post on ZDNET”European draft data law announced: What you need to know http://www.zdnet.com/blog/london/european-draft-data-law-announced-what-you-need-to-know/2609