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Global Networks challenged by new debates about the Data Protection in the EU

December 19th, 2012 - Global online networks will soon be challenged with new rules for the processing of personal data. The EU is leading the discussion with its new initiative: "European Data Protection Regulation". What does this mean for the big networks such as Facebook, Google etc? And what are the results for Canada and the USA? Our expert Dr. Colin Bennett is available for comments.

Once again the European Union (EU) is leading an elaborated discussion on economic and global dimensions of the existing data protection initiatives and the potentials for the online single market. Last month at the third annual European Data Protection & Privacy Conference in Brussels, the Vice-President of the European Commission delivered a speech and explained why there is a need for a profound change to give individuals more control over information related to them and on how to protect citizens' data rights due to technological and global changes and the opportunity to boost (online) business at the same time.

Privacy has risen in importance as an economic and political issue.The need for directions on how data can safely be collected, accessed and used was already established 18 years ago, when the EU adopted a directive on data protection for its Member States to regulate the processing of personal data within its boarders.
Early this year, the EU Commission made a new proposal and drafted the "European Data Protection Regulation" in order to strengthen consumer protection/ privacy rights and to lead Europe's digital economy.

Canada and USA have been watching these discussions closely in the meantime. The results of these debates will establish the rules for the processing of personal data on global networks for many years to come.

Dr. Colin Bennett is an expert in the field of data protection and has written extensively about this topic. His latest article "The Geo-Politics of Personal Data" was published in Harvard International Review. Dr. Bennett joined the Europe Canada network just recently and is available for media requests this week.

Does Europe's economic crisis trigger a resurgence of the radical right?

December 10th, 2012 - Written by Dr. Oliver Schmidtke

"What is the impact of the deep economic crisis that in parts of Europe has taken on a dimension reminiscent of the dark days of the 1930s? To what degree have high unemployment and the impoverishment also of large parts of the middle class in certain parts of Europe contributed to a surge in right wing extremism on the continent?

At first sight, the effects of the economic crisis in this respect are not clearly evident. Since 2008, right wing populist parties have surged in electoral support in some countries, notably Finland, France, Greece, and Hungary, but they have declined in Denmark, Italy and Switzerland (and in the Netherlands Geert Wilders' party lost almost one third of its votes in the recent elections).

Yet, there is growing evidence that the potential for a surge of the radical right is growing in those countries that are mainly hit by the economic slump. Greece is a point in case: capturing about 7% of the vote in the June elections surveys now put the extremist 'Golden Dawn' party in third place in terms of popular support. In a recent interview Greek Prime Minister Samaras compared the situation in his country to that in Weimar Germany. This form of political radicalization and threat to democracy is barely considered when yet another round of austerity measures is imposed on countries such as Greece."

Dr. Oliver Schmidtke is director of the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria. He is leading the research team "Immigration and Social Policy", part of the SSHRC Strategic Research Cluster "Canada Europe Transatlantic Dialogue".

Watch also  http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=823823&playlistId=1.1072652&binId=1.810401

 

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