Tag Archives: data protection

Do we have to give up on controlling state, agency or company-based data protection, or can we retain control?

The inbuilt tension between legitimate security concerns (fighting terrorism and organized crime) on the one hand, and preserving individual privacy rights, data protection and companies’ intellectual property rights on the other hand, increasingly leads to international quarrels. German society and media, in particular, are sensitive about their historical background of Gestapo and Stasi intrusions. Interestingly, the international debates and conflicts are mostly staged between allies, especially the U.S. and the EU/Germany.

Related questions include whether the intelligence agencies, also in western countries, are as reliably controlled by governments and parliaments as expected; whether there is some discretion of cooperation between intelligence agencies underneath the radar of governments; whether there are any legal or technical working hedges against data collection, particularly of metadata; and what the respective legal frameworks are.

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Privacy in the digital age: Do we give up effective data protection?

What is happening with our digital data? That’s one of the big questions today. We are confronted with a double challenge: First, state agencies are highly interested in our data. The NSA activities are just the tip of the iceberg. It is unclear if, and how we can tame the data-hunger of these apparently ‘securitized’ agencies. Second, there are the big IT companies like Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Google, etc., whom we feed with our own personal information. The recently changed contract provisions of FB make a lot of people (re)considering their own habits in social networks. Opting out is possible, but not desired so far by most customers.

So do we give up an effective data protection on both fronts? Or are there potential remedies?

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