Europe, facing regulation of the data economy: The dangers of a late, incomplete response

data-economy

The regulatory offensive being done by the European Union with the so-called ‘gatekeepers’ of the digital economy – the large Internet platforms – just might be a before and after in the unbalanced market position these enjoy. However, both the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act ignore a key element in regulating the use and exchange of personal data: an economic calculation of the consumer-digital relationship. 

Read more

World Consumer Rights Day: Do big tech companies respect yours?

world-consumer-rights-day

March 15 marks World Consumer Rights Day, a commemoration established by the United Nations in 1983. The choice of March 15 comes from a speech delivered on that day in 1962 by John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Speaking at the United States Congress, the then U.S. president defined the consumer as an essential element in the production process, recognising their political relevance and urging institutions to protect their rights.

Read more

Data Protection Day: a date that shouldn’t go unnoticed

data-protection-day

On Thursday, January 28, Data Protection Day is once again being celebrated. The first edition was held in 2007, after the Council of Europe had decided a few months earlier to set the date. 

Why this day? On January 28, 1981, the Council of Europe signed Convention 108 in Strasbourg for the protection of personal data in its automated processing. It was the first legally binding international instrument for data protection, and for more than 30 years an important legal reference, in Europe and beyond. Today, Data Protection Day is celebrated all over the globe, and outside our continent is known as Privacy Day. 

Read more

Our opinion on the Spanish government’s Digital Rights Charter

digital-rights-charter

How to incorporate the current rights framework into the digital environment? And how to protect these rights in this area? The Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs attempts to answer these two questions in what has been titled the Digital Rights Charter, which it presents as part of its ‘España Digital 2025’ plan.  This is a document whose purpose is to guide future policy decisions and actions by public authorities. 

Read more

‘Committees of sages’ and digital rights: how to move from theory to reality

digital-rights

Gradually, digitalization, in its broadest sense, is beginning to have a prominent place on the political agenda of governments and institutions. This is a transversal and multidimensional challenge for society as a whole, affecting health, education, wealth creation, mobility, democratic freedoms, the free market, etc. Digital transformation can bring enormous benefits for people, companies – of all sizes – and society overall if the transition process is done in an orderly, rational, and inclusive way. The necessary transition also entails challenges and risks, as adjustments will have to be made and accepted; hence the importance of reaching consensus among all the parties involved. This is why we welcome the launch, by the Spanish Government, of a group of experts who will advise them on the creation of a Digital Rights Charter. Addressed here will be rights already recognized in Spanish legislation – for example, data protection – and more recent realities, such as new labour relations and artificial intelligence. 

Read more

Employment Risks in the Age of the Algorithm

age-of-the-algorithm

Important debates on the future of work have been on the agenda of politicians and legislators for some time. But now that the EU has come through the worst of the pandemic, new nuances have been added. Acceleration of the digitalization process over the past three months, with massive use of telecommuting, is creating new challenges. And this also compounds the risks for the most vulnerable citizens, such as older workers and freelancers who rely heavily on technology platforms. 

Read more

The Role of Business in the Data Debate

role of business

Is privacy a vestige of the past? Many think that in the midst of the twenty-first century this simple concept has disappeared. Nevertheless, lately the debate seems to be changing, and concern about privacy is experiencing a resurgence. This mood change was largely triggered by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which showed how personal data was shared and used without the knowledge of users for false purposes, such as influencing various elections.

Read more

The EU now has a strategy to face development of Artificial Intelligence

artificial-intelligence

On February 19, 2020, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, fulfilled one of the promises she made when taking her position: to publish a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the first 100 days of her mandate. With this text, open for public consultation until May 19, 2020, the European Union clarifies its general outlines to face one of the greatest challenges of our time:  To get the best possible results from Artificial Intelligence without leaving anyone behind or harming liberties and civil rights.

Read more