Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Against it Before they Were for it

The EU will this week outline an overhaul of its 17-year- old data-protection policies addressing online advertising and social-networking sites. The bill, which includes stricter sanctions and will equip national data-protection authorities with powers to levy administrative sanctions and fines, will “become a trademark people recognize and trust worldwide,” Reding said at a conference in Munich yesterday.
Anticipating an opportunity to pander, the EU’s trinity (the perpetually promoting rarely elected Commissars Kroes, Malmström and Reding) become the faces of a new privacy rule, despite a uniform continental history of ignoring your privacy. And they also should have made the announcement in Berlin:
Since 2008, the Berlin police has collected data on 4.2 million mobile phone connections, reports German daily Tageszeitung. Most of the data has been collected in order to capture those who have set fire to luxury cars, a phenomenon that has been rampant in the German capital for the last five years. In 410 data requests by the judiciary to mobile phone operators, the police were able to identify the names and home addresses of people located near a burning car. "The only problem is they never identified any suspects," the paper notes.
Elsewhere, they’re promoting their presumed monopoly on human rights as happy hoo-hah in an initiative that duplicates what the CIA managed years ago.

EU Vice President Kroes appoints the discredited Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to run it.
Kroes defends her pick of zu Guttenberg in her blog post, saying that she's looking for "talent, not saints." Fair enough. On the other point, I think that the irony of the battle over access benefits us more than the IP interests, as well, but I certainly understand people who are stunned and spluttering.
”Access” of “Intellectual Property”. In other words, if it’s not bolted down, and it comes from abroad, it’s yours, and it spills an interesting shade of ochre on zu Guttenberg street cred as an academic plagiarist.