Posts tagged EU

Web App Demands a “Democracy without Secrets”

Nulpunt, meaning zero in Dutch, is a web app that aggregates public government documents and allows registered users to rifle through them by topic, comment on sections of interest, and share their investigations over social media. Its a Dutch entity that only covers the Dutch government.

FJP: Elsewhere in Europe, the free-access movement is spreading. Earlier this week, the British government announced that all publicly funded scientific research will be made free and available to everyone by 2014. Yesterday, the EU made a similar initiative, which lays the groundwork for other member nations to follow suit.

Publishers, Cookies and Privacy, EU Style
Last week Josh Sternberg posted about how publishers are dealing with user privacy.
The Too Long, Didn’t Read version of it is that they haven’t.
Instead, they say that privacy issues lie upstream with the ad networks that feed behavioral advertising to readers of our favorite sites. Publishers then — more or less — are sitting on the sidelines when it comes to questions about the how the likes of you or I are tracked and followed with cookies when we access their content.
I write shorthand though. Because what we’re talking about when we talk about publisher ambivalence to privacy is US publishers. Across the European Union a new consumer privacy law has taken effect that requires sites to spell out how cookies are used, how users are tracked and — most important — how users can opt out of being followed and tracked.
For instance, in the screenshot above that I took over the weekend, a giant notice appeared alerting users how to manage cookies when accessing the BBC Web site. Click through and you end up on a privacy and cookies page that fairly clearly spells out the types of cookies the BBC uses, and then has another page that lets you select what type of cookies you choose to accept while on the site.
I asked John Johnston, our UK-based contributor about this implementation. Here’s what he had to say:

Basically, you have to make users aware that you use cookies to run your site and that they are the subject of the cookies and they are given the choice to allow them or not. Although it’s an EU law, it’s been implemented in different ways. In the Netherlands for instance all users have been opted out and must specify to have cookies dropped (usually with the promise that the site will work better with them), while here in the UK you only have to make users aware and give them a way to opt out.

Meantime, ZDNet reports that even though the cookie law went into effect over the weekend, and applies to all member states, institutions like the European Parliament and European Commission haven’t implemented the necessary changes on their Web sites.
If cookies and privacy are your thing, here’s the European Commission’s directive on online privacy behind the new law (PDF).

Publishers, Cookies and Privacy, EU Style

Last week Josh Sternberg posted about how publishers are dealing with user privacy.

The Too Long, Didn’t Read version of it is that they haven’t.

Instead, they say that privacy issues lie upstream with the ad networks that feed behavioral advertising to readers of our favorite sites. Publishers then — more or less — are sitting on the sidelines when it comes to questions about the how the likes of you or I are tracked and followed with cookies when we access their content.

I write shorthand though. Because what we’re talking about when we talk about publisher ambivalence to privacy is US publishers. Across the European Union a new consumer privacy law has taken effect that requires sites to spell out how cookies are used, how users are tracked and — most important — how users can opt out of being followed and tracked.

For instance, in the screenshot above that I took over the weekend, a giant notice appeared alerting users how to manage cookies when accessing the BBC Web site. Click through and you end up on a privacy and cookies page that fairly clearly spells out the types of cookies the BBC uses, and then has another page that lets you select what type of cookies you choose to accept while on the site.

I asked John Johnston, our UK-based contributor about this implementation. Here’s what he had to say:

Basically, you have to make users aware that you use cookies to run your site and that they are the subject of the cookies and they are given the choice to allow them or not. Although it’s an EU law, it’s been implemented in different ways. In the Netherlands for instance all users have been opted out and must specify to have cookies dropped (usually with the promise that the site will work better with them), while here in the UK you only have to make users aware and give them a way to opt out.

Meantime, ZDNet reports that even though the cookie law went into effect over the weekend, and applies to all member states, institutions like the European Parliament and European Commission haven’t implemented the necessary changes on their Web sites.

If cookies and privacy are your thing, here’s the European Commission’s directive on online privacy behind the new law (PDF).

Is the current copyright system the right and only tool to achieve our objectives? Not really.

Citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it.

Sadly, many see the current system as a tool to punish and withhold, not a tool to recognise and reward.

Neelie Kroes, European Union Digital Agenda Commissioner, in a speech to the Forum d’Avignon in Paris.

As ZDNet UK notes:

Rights-holders have long complained about the damage done to their industry by online copyright infringement. Governments and courts in countries including the UK have responded by blocking access to websites that help people unlawfully share music, videos, games and software.

Some countries, such as New Zealand and France, also threaten repeat infringers with suspension or disconnection of their broadband services.

A reminder that in the United States there are currently legislative¬†attempts to essentially privatize copyright enforcement by giving copyright holders the power to issue takedown notices — without judicial oversight — against Web sites they believe are infringing on their content.¬†

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe calculate the cost of the European debt crisis

How can broke economies lend money to other broke economies who haven’t got any money because they can’t pay back the money the broke economy lent to the other broke economy and shouldn’t have lent it to them in the first place because the broke economy can’t pay back?