Friday, October 14, 2011

EU: ISPs' Traffic Inspection "raises serious issues relating to the protection of users’ privacy'

A document by Peter Hustinx (pictured), European Data Protection Supervisor, presents its opinion on "on net neutrality, traffic management and the protection of privacy and personal data".

Some of the conclusions are: 
  • ISPs' increasing reliance on monitoring and inspection techniques impinges upon the neutrality of the Internet and the confidentiality of communications This raises serious issues relating to the protection of users’ privacy and personal data.
  • The EDPS considers that there is a need for national authorities and BEREC (see "Yet Another ISP Transparency Guide" - here) to monitor the market situation. This monitoring should result in a clear picture describing whether the market is evolving towards massive, real-time inspection of communications and issues related to complying with the legal framework
  • Depending on these findings, additional legislative measures may be necessary. In such a case, the Commission should put forward policy measures aiming at strengthening the legal framework and ensuring legal certainty. New measures should clarify the practical consequences of the net neutrality principle, as this has already been done in some Member States, and ensure that users can exercise a real choice, notably by forcing ISPs to offer non-monitored connections
See "Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor" - here and press release - here.

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