8th Internet, Law and Politics Congress (X). Privacy On Line

Notes from the 8th Internet, Law and Politics Congress: Challenges and Opportunities of Online Entertainment, organized by the Open University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on 9-10 July 2012. More notes on this event: idp2012.

Panel on Privacy On Line
Chairs: José Luis Piñar Mañas. Professor of Administrative Law. Vice-Chancellor of International Relations at CEU San-Pablo University (Madrid). Former Director, Spanish Data Protection Authority.

Antonio Troncoso Reigada. Professor of Constitutional Law. Former Director, Data Protection Authority of the Region of Madrid.

The Internet has a huge potential for participation, especially social media. Freedom of expression has found a perfect platform on the Internet. Thus, minors have not to have their access to the Internet or social networking sites forbidden.

The proliferation of barriers for data protection is creating too many problems for the evolution of the Internet: we need a harmonization of law, not only within the EU but worldwide. Especially now that cloud computing is becoming mainstream.

The regulation framework in the EU is becoming better, but there is a certain lack of democracy, a lack of political and public debate on the issue.

Esther Mitjans. Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Barcelona. Director of the Catalan Data Protection Authority.

In the Internet age, privacy is a very important matter, present everywhere. There is a need for risk management, as these are new territories with new practices that bring with them plenty of risks and hazards. Behaviours of people cause not only risks upon themselves but also upon third parties. Data protection is about the crossroads of all these risks and practices. And we do not have to forget that the Internet does not believe in boundaries, borders and frontiers.

María González, Head of Legal for Spain, Portugal & Greece at Google.

The problem of short-term regulation can affect innovation, economic growth and the evolution of the Internet as a communication (not only business) platform.

Concerning cookies, the industry is now trying to decide what is the best design for opting-in concerning tracing cookies, and that the user is empowered with the control of their own data and privacy.

Regulation has to be based on transparency: all practices related to data protection, public, private and corporate have to be transparent and accountable.

The “physical” location of data is totally irrelevant when they are constantly replicated and transferred. Thus, what matters is demanding liability and responsibility to the firm, but not that these data are kept on a closed box in a specific territory or jurisdiction.


8th Internet, Law and Politics Conference (2012)