Digital

Deimantė Rimkutė: Tavo (ne)privatumas 5G interneto amžiuje Skaitykite daugiau:

Galbūt iš pirmo žvilgsnio ši frazė gali būti priimta nerūpestingai: „na, ir kas?“ Žinoma, gal ir nieko blogo. Juk būtent dėl to gauname pasiūlymus, kurie kur kas aktualesni. Surinkti duomenys suteikia galimybę paslauga džiaugtis nemokant papildomos naudojimosi kainos. Tačiau lazda turi du galus; didėjantis duomenų surinkimo kiekis atneša ir tam tikras rizikas.

Žmogų apibrėžia ne vien jo asmens kodas, jis yra savimi, nes turi tam tikrą identitetą. Asmeniniai duomenys neatskiriama to dalis, jie atskleidžia žmogaus charakteristiką ir ją iliustruoja. Ši informacija gali būti itin vertinga tiems, kurie turi nebūtinai pačius geriausius tikslus. Dar visai neseniai viešoje erdvėje nuskambėjo JAV prezidento Donaldo Trumpo rinkimų ar Brexito kampanijos technologiniai sprendimai. Surinkti duomenys gali padėjo paveikti rinkimų rezultatus.

Platesniame kontekste per didelis produkto ar paslaugos individualizavimas gali pradėti kurti tam tikrus informacijos „getus“, kai gauname tik tam tikrą specifinę informaciją, kuri mums patinka, o ne tą, kurią galbūt taip pat reikėtų žinoti. Taip pat kiekvieną dieną tarptautinėje erdvėje girdima apie naujas tapatybės vagystes bei finansinius nusikaltimus. Atsakomybė dažnai krenta „paslaugos“ davėjui. Blogiausia, kad verslas ne visada pasirūpina savo vartotojų apsauga ir sukuria galimybę įsilaužėliams patekti į „duomenų namus“ per galines duris.

Tokie incidentai yra įrodymas, kad vartotojų duomenų saugumas ir privatumas nėra pakankamai apsaugotas ir trūksta jau dabar galiojančios teisės mechanizmų įgyvendinimo efektyvumo bei papildomų teisinių priemonių. Protingos politikos atsakas – neišvengiamas. Taigi, kyla klausimas, kaip tobulinti jau esamą tvarką?

Blogiausia, kad verslas ne visada pasirūpina savo vartotojų apsauga ir sukuria galimybę įsilaužėliams patekti į „duomenų namus“ per galines duris.

Sprendimai

Nėra vieno sprendimo, kuris užtikrintų duomenų apsaugą. Tačiau galimos skirtingos politikos pasiūlymų kombinacijos. Neseniai atliktame Consumer Choice Center tyrime buvo išskirti trys esminiai elementai: griežtesnė teisinė atsakomybė, papildomi sertifikavimo kriterijai bei draudimai, susiję su kilmės šalimi.

Pažeidimai įvyksta, nes, dažnu atveju, atsakingi asmenys nesielgia taip, kaip nurodyta teisės normose. Nors jau šiandien egzistuoja keli mechanizmai, kurie turėtų tai užtikrinti, akivaizdu, kad jie nėra efektyvūs arba užtektinai nekonkretūs. Tiek ES, tiek nacionalinės elektroninio saugumo taisyklės paprastai konkrečių priemonių nereikalauja apart „tinkamų priemonių“.

ES lygmenyje turėtų būti priimamos papildomos taisyklės, kurios užtikrintų vartotojų apsaugą programinės įrangos naudojimo, pardavimo ar perpardavimo kontekste, kai tai susiję su duomenų apsauga. Svarbu, kad visi papildomi techniniai standartai būtų neutralūs, visai kaip ir pati technologija, neturėtų būti reikalaujama naudoti specifinius tam tikrus paslaugų produktus, nes tai sukeltų kliūtis naujiems rinkos žaidėjams, inovacijų plėtrai.

Taip pat svarbu įsivesti tam tikras saugumo lubas ir grindis, mechanizmą, kuriuo vadovaujantis atsakomybė būtų sumažinta arba pašalinta. Jau dabar egzistuoja ES Kibernetinis aktas, remiantis jo nuostatomis galima būtų sukurti papildomus reikalavimus.

Nors jau šiandien egzistuoja keli mechanizmai, kurie turėtų tai užtikrinti, akivaizdu, kad jie nėra efektyvūs arba užtektinai nekonkretūs.

Anksčiau paminėti draudimai pagal kilmės šalį turėtų būti paskutinė priemonė. Dėl tam tikrų priežasčių galima manyti, kad kai kurios ES vyriausybės daro teisinį ar neteisėtą spaudimą privačioms įmonėms, skatindamos įtraukti programinės įrangos pažeidžiamumą, kuris gali būti panaudotas vyriausybių atstovų. Tai vėliau gali būti naudojama kaip didmeninių draudimų pagal kilmės šalį pateisinimo priežastis. Tokio tipo draudimas tikėtinai naudingi vartotojams nebus. Antra vertus, nerandant kito veiksmingo sprendimo ir nerandant aiškių sprendimų, šis pasiūlymas galėtų būti priimtinas.

Asmens duomenų, privatumo srities reglamentavimas turėtų būti grindžiamas ne vien ekonominėmis laisvėmis, bet ir tam tikra žmogaus teisių apsauga. Juk Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija įtvirtina asmens teisę į privatumą ir orumą. Akivaizdu, kad didėjant asmens duomenų reikšmei, ši sritis reikalauja tinkamesnio reglamentavimo, kuris užtikrintų žmogaus teises, tačiau taip pat ir nesužlugdytų inovacijų plėtros.

Originally published here

Attempts To Block Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency May Backfire

Consumer group: Congressional attempt to block Facebook‘s Libra cryptocurrency harms consumer choice and will backfire

Washington, D.C. – Days after Facebook announced its new Libra cryptocurrency project, federal lawmakers issued stark warnings to the social media platform, and have now requested the project be put on ice.

The lawmakers issuing the warnings were Rep. Maxime Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, as well as ranking member Rep. Patrick McHenry. Sens. Mark Warner and Sherrod Brown both stated independently that Congress “cannot allow” such a project.

In response, Consumer Choice Center Deputy Director Yael Ossowski says the lawmakers’ threats are harmful to consumer choice, and will ultimately backfire.

“Overseeing regulation on Internet and financial firms is important, but the ‘regulate first, innovate later’ mentality that came in response to Libra should give every Internet user pause. If every new Internet innovation is now subject to kneejerk congressional approval, that sets a dangerous precedent for the future of consumer choice online,” said Ossowski.

“Consumers have the right to choose if they want to use cryptocurrencies or social networks, and are aware of the great risks and benefits that go along with that. People want an alternative and they’re interested in new digital tools online. That’s why there is so much interest.

“Allowing political figures to freeze future innovations and projects because of temporary partisan politics will keep millions of consumers from being able to enjoy regular goods and services they enjoy online, not to mention being able to connect with thousands of their friends and family online.

“And it won’t stop here. If these threats continue, Bitcoin and dozens of other cryptocurrencies, as well as other social media platforms that millions of users have adopted, will also face well-intended but flawed regulation.

“We must have smart regulation that encourages competition, protects privacy, and ensures consumer choice. Prior restraint of innovation would be the opposite of that,” said Ossowski.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Read more here

Winter is Coming para programas como Game of Thrones no Brasil

O inverno não começou apenas no hemisfério sul, mas também pode começar em breve para milhões de telespectadores brasileiros. Uma regulamentação poderá em breve ser responsável pelo desaparecimento de programas como o Game of Thrones e eventos esportivos, como a Liga dos Campeões da UEFA das nossas televisões. Se os políticos não agirem rapidamente, poderemos comprometer a competitividade do Brasil a longo prazo nos serviços digitais.

Os mercados de mídia, digital e de telecomunicações convergem em todo o mundo. Não há mais uma barreira clara entre esses setores, mas um mercado convergente e único se formou. Os agentes neste mercado são mais diversificados e maiores em tamanho de mercado do que antes e a competição é completamente diferente do que temos visto no passado.

Novos operadores estão crescendo graças às fusões e os reguladores precisam ter uma abordagem diferente nesse ponto.

O exemplo brasileiro, em contraste, mostra que a regulamentação está impedindo a integração com mercado único digital. Limitando significativamente o desenvolvimento do “mercado do futuro”, como o mercado digital é frequentemente conhecido.

Como em outros setores da economia, o Brasil precisa ter como meta criar um mercado digital único, no qual as operadoras possam integrar conteúdos e canais para oferecer serviços de mídia melhores e mais abrangentes aos seus clientes. Esta importante necessidade não é algo legalmente possível no Brasil atual.

Em particular, um artigo de uma legislação de 2011 sobre fusões entre empresas de telecomunicações e empresas de distribuição e licenciamento de conteúdo audiovisual no mercado de TV por assinatura.

Este artigo é considerado anacrônico mesmo pelo presidente da ANATEL, órgão regulador de telecomunicações do Brasil, “porque está indo contra a convergência que está desenvolvendo no novo ecossistema digital”.

O regulamento não está afetando apenas uma importante oportunidade para o Brasil, sendo a fusão entre a AT&T e a Time Warner, mas também afeta a possibilidade de o país continuar atraindo investidores. Ou seja, dificulta a possibilidade de um desenvolvimento digital mais rápido e de mais serviços prestados aos consumidores.

Um ecossistema digital do século 21 é considerado um mercado em que todos os participantes da arena digital podem ter uma concorrência justa, graças também ao desenvolvimento das conexões 4G e 5G.

O mercado brasileiro de dados móveis está se desenvolvendo muito bem e a tecnologia 4G é amplamente adotada. Isso ajuda a facilitar a mudança do mercado com mais de 130 milhões de usuários de conexões de internet móvel de alta velocidade

A chegada do 5G nos próximos anos irá desencadear uma integração vertical ainda mais rápida entre diferentes setores, como foi dito por Leonardo de Morais, presidente da ANATEL.

É uma idéia anacrônica de que o mercado poderia ser segmentado por subcategorias, como telefonemas, anúncios ou conteúdo, como no passado. O papel das autoridades tem que mudar devido a essa nova realidade. A competição justa deve ser planejada não apenas em uma visão clássica, mas também entre operadoras em diferentes setores que agora estão competindo diretamente: um exemplo clássico é uma competição entre os provedores Over the Top (como Amazon Video ou Netflix) e TV por assinatura.

Ser atraente para os investimentos estrangeiros é altamente importante em uma indústria global, como os mercados digital e de mídia, e um elemento-chave para o sucesso do desenvolvimento de novos serviços para os consumidores.

Um ecossistema digital do século 21 no Brasil só é possível se a proibição da integração vertical for revogada. Caso contrário, os consumidores serão prejudicados tendo menos canais de TV ou menos conteúdo disponível na TV por assinatura.

(* Sobre os autores: Fred Roeder é diretor do Centro de Escolha do Consumidor; Andrea Giuricin é sócio da TRA Consulting e professor adjunto da University Milano Bicocca; Andre Freo é professor e gerente de operações Centro de Escolha do Consumidor (Cesco). O artigo é um resumo de uma análise política sobre esta questão, que pode ser encontrada em www.chegadebarreiras.org. O ponto de vista manifestado neste artigo não necessariamente reflete a posição de TELETIME)

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Winter is Coming for shows like Game of Thrones in Brazil

Winter has not just started in the southern hemisphere but it might also start soon for millions of Brazilian TV viewers. One piece of regulation might soon be responsible for shows such as Game of Thrones and sports events such as the UEFA Champions League disappearing from our TV screens. If politics don’t act quickly we might jeopardize Brazil’s long-term competitiveness in digital services.

Digital, media, and telecommunications markets converge all over the world. There is no clear barrier anymore between these sectors, but a unique converged market has formed. Players in this market are more diversified and bigger in market size than previously and the competition is completely different from the past.  

New operators are growing thanks to mergers and regulators have to have a different approach on that point.

The Brazilian example, in contrast, shows that regulation is holding the digital single market back, and significantly limiting the further development of the “market of the future”, as the digital market is often labeled.

As in other sectors of the economy, Brazil has to have the target to create a single digital market, in which operators can integrate content and channels in order to provide better and more comprehensive media services to their customers. This very needed necessity is currently legally not possible in Brazil.

In particular one piece of legislation from  2011 mergers between telecommunications companies and audiovisual content distribution and licensing companies in the PayTV market.

This article is considered anachronistic even by the President of Brazil’s telecommunications regulator ANATEL “because it is going against the convergence that it is developing in the new digital ecosystem”.

The regulation is not only affecting an important opportunity for Brazil, that being the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, but it also affects the possibility of the country to continue to attract investors, leading to a faster and development of the digital and more services provided to consumers.

A 21st century digital ecosystem is considered a market where all the players of the digital arena are able to have  fair competition, thanks also at the development of the 4G and 5G connections.

The Brazilian mobile data market is developing very well and 4G technology is widely adopted. This helps to facilitate the change of the market with more than 130 million users of mobile high speed internet connections

The arrival of 5G in the next few years will ignite an even faster  vertical integration between different sectors as it was told by Leonardo de Morais, President of ANATEL.

It is an anachronistic idea that the market could be segmented by subcategories such as phone calls, advertisement, or content as in the past.  The role of the authorities has to change due to this new reality. Fair competition has to be intended not only in a classic view, but also between operators in different sectors that are now competing directly: a classical example is competition between Over the Top (as Amazon Video or Netflix) and PayTV providers.

Being attractive to foreign investments, is highly important in a global industry such as  the digital and media markets, and a key element for the success of the development of new services for consumers.

A 21st century digital ecosystem in Brazil is only possible if the ban of vertical integration is repealed. Otherwise consumers will lose by either having less TV channels or less content available on PayTV.

By Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, Professor Andrea Giuricin, and Andre Freo Gerente de Operações of CESCO. Both have published a policy note on this issue as well that can be found at www.chegadebarreiras.org

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EU-US Talks On 5G Network Infrastructure Is Good News For Consumers

Brussels, BE – Yesterday, the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial had a meeting in Brussels during which among other topics participants recognised that the deployment of 5G network infrastructure needs to be addressed as a matter of priority, as it might pose significant security risks.

The European Union and the United States committed to further pursue their exchanges on assessing and managing 5G and supply chain security risks through existing channels, including the Justice and Home Affairs meetings.

Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center, praised this development and said that it was an important step towards safeguarding consumer privacy in Europe and the U.S.

“Although, this is just the start, much more needs to be done to arrive at common smart regulations for 5G technology. Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin should be seen as measures of last resort. But the privacy of consumers and protecting them from vulnerabilities and backdoors needs to be paramount when rolling out 5G,” said Bertoletti.

“Using liability rules for operators and resellers of software and devices that expose consumers to the risk of malicious and illegal interference should be taken into account at the next meeting. Additionally, we believe that the U.S. should consider implementing the EU’s “Cybersecurity Act” into its legislation on 5G. Regulatory alignment is what will better serve the interests of consumers in the two biggest economies of the world.

“We hope to see more developments in the coming months on this issue and we encourage the two bodies to arrive at the next meeting in the second half of the year with a draft common policy to safeguard consumers’ privacy and at the same time boost innovation,” concludes Bertoletti.

The Consumer Choice Center published a policy note on Consumer Privacy in the Age of 5G that can be found here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

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Pourquoi Libra est critiquée avant même son lancement ?

Au consommateur de décider si c’est un bon système ou pas ?

Du côté des consommateurs, Consumer Choice Center, équivalent de Que-Choisir à travers le monde, regrette que les législateurs réclament la suspension du projet : « Contrôler la réglementation sur Internet et les sociétés financières est important, mais la mentalité de“légiférer d’abord, d’innover plus tard”, qui est apparue en réponse à Libra, devrait mettre tous les internautes en pause. Si chaque nouvelle innovation Internet est désormais soumise à l’approbation du Congrès, ce serait un dangereux précédent pour l’avenir du choix du consommateur en ligne », a déclaré Yaël Ossowski, dirigeant de cette association de défense du consommateur. Les consommateurs ont le droit de choisir s’ils souhaitent utiliser des crypto-monnaies ou des réseaux sociaux, et sont conscients des risques et des avantages considérables qui en découlent. Les utilisateurs recherchent une alternative et s’intéressent aux nouveaux outils numériques en ligne. C’est pourquoi, il y a un tel intérêt. »

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Consumer body challenges US lawmakers over Facebook crypto

A consumer advocacy group has challenged US lawmakers over their threats on Facebook’s new crypto-currency, Libra.

This, after Facebook was summoned to appear before the US Senate Banking Committee over its plans to launch a crypto-currency next year.

On Tuesday, the social media doyen shared plans for Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary, whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network.

Just hours after Facebook announced its new Libra crypto-currency project, US federal lawmakers issued warnings to the social media platform, requesting the project be put on ice until lawmakers have had a chance to review it.

In response, consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre’s deputy director Yaël Ossowski says the lawmakers’ threats are harmful to consumer choice, and will ultimately backfire.

“Overseeing regulation on Internet and financial firms is important, but the ‘regulate first, innovate later’ mentality that came in response to Libra should give every Internet user pause. If every new Internet innovation is now subject to kneejerk congressional approval, that sets a dangerous precedent for the future of consumer choice online,” says Ossowski.

“Consumers have the right to choose if they want to use crypto-currencies or social networks, and are aware of the great risks and benefits that go along with that. People want an alternative and they’re interested in new digital tools online. That’s why there is so much interest.”

He notes allowing political figures to freeze future innovations and projects because of temporary partisan politics will keep millions of consumers from being able to enjoy regular goods and services they enjoy online, not to mention being able to connect with thousands of their friends and family online.

“And it won’t stop here. If these threats continue, Bitcoin and dozens of other crypto-currencies, as well as other social media platforms that millions of users have adopted, will also face well-intended but flawed regulation.

“We must have smart regulation that encourages competition, protects privacy and ensures consumer choice. Prior restraint of innovation would be the opposite of that,” Ossowski concludes.

Read more here

Political opposition to Facebook’s Libra harms consumer choice and will backfire, warns consumer body

Just hours after Facebook announced its new Libra cryptocurrency project, European politicians issued stark warnings calling for tighter regulation of the platform. Some of the most vocal opponents are French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament.

In response, Fred Roeder, Managing Director at the Consumer Choice Center, said that “these political threats were harmful to consumer choice, and would ultimately backfire”.

“Overseeing regulation on Internet and financial firms is important, but the ’regulate first, innovate later’ mentality that came in response to Libra should give every Internet user a reason to be concerned. If every new Internet innovation now needs to be approved by lawmakers, that sets a dangerous precedent for the future of consumer choice online,” said Roeder.

Roeder believes that consumers have the right to choose if they want to use cryptocurrencies, or social networks and are aware of the great risks and benefits that go along with that. People want alternatives, especially with new digital tools, which is why there is so much interest from consumers.

“Allowing political figures to freeze future innovations and projects because of temporary partisan politics will keep European consumers from being able to enjoy the goods and services they enjoy online, not to mention being able to connect with thousands of their friends and family online,” he says.

“And it won’t stop here,” he warns. “If these threats continue, Bitcoin and dozens of other cryptocurrencies, as well as other social media platforms that millions of users have adopted, will also face well-intended but flawed regulation.We must have smart regulation that encourages competition, protects privacy, and ensures consumer choice. Prior restraint of innovation would be the opposite of that,” said Roeder.

Read more here

Consumer privacy must be priority

Nearly every day we hear of more major cases of identity theft, financial crime and other forms of attacks or malicious interference on the internet. Breaches become commonplace and lax standards leave consumers worried about how their information is safeguarded.

The colossal breaches at British Airways and Marriott and Starwood in 2018 compromised the private data of hundreds of millions customers, and dozens more cases have surfaced since.

Such incidents are evidence that consumer data security, and also consumer privacy, are not being taken seriously. The adoption of Internet of Things solutions and the highly anticipated rollout of very fast 5G networks will make consumers’ privacy even more vulnerable in the next few years.

President Trump’s executive order to prevent companies from buying hardware and software from telecommunications firms deemed a national security risk is at least one good step in protecting privacy, but it’s sad to see it had to come to that.

Trump is likely influenced by statements of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has warned against using telecom equipment vendors from China on the basis of both national security and concerns for privacy.

In one case last fall, it was reported that Chinese officials put immense pressure on specific private firms to include so-called backdoors in their software or devices, which may be exploited either by government agents alone or with a manufacturer’s help. That only provokes more questions as to the influence of the Chinese Community Party on the Chinese firms that sell abroad.

With that in mind, for the ordinary consumer looking to buy their next smartphone, laptop or WiFi router, how can they rest assured their privacy will be secured?

As a response to threats like this, Australia banned the Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei from its 5G network. The United States has effectively done the same. But blanket bans aren’t a silver bullet solution for safeguarding privacy and data security. A mix of solutions is needed.

What we need is a smart policy response that would induce companies to give sufficient weight to consumer data security, all the while achieving that goal without undue market distortions, wholesale bans of certain firms and the limiting of consumer choice.

Healthy competition between private enterprises is the best mechanism for the discovery of the right tools and applications for new tech gear. Keeping new regulation technology-neutral, and thus not deciding by law which technological solution is best, is a very good framework for consumer privacy.

The rules should be focused on outcomes and be as general as possible while still providing sufficient guidance. That means not just the biggest companies who can afford to comply will also have a chance.

At the same time, some kind of certification scheme, or even open source standard,  should be adopted to minimize the risk of any backdoors or other vulnerabilities. That said, perfect security cannot be guaranteed. But ensuring companies use encryption and secure methods of authentication should be on the table.

Ideally, there would also be more supply chain liability for telecommunications operators and infrastructure wholesalers. This would push companies to take consumer privacy and security more into account when making procurement decisions.

Outright bans motivated by security concerns have the same effects as trade restrictions in the context of a trade war. The first victim of any trade war are the consumers of the nation imposing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. Unless there is no other workable solution and unless the evidence of a serious security risk is clear, we shouldn’t resort to bans.

The debate around 5G reminds us how vulnerable consumers are in a technologically and politically complex world.

Therefore, smart regulation is needed in order to protect consumers from data breaches and to prevent autocratic governments from spying on them.

By strengthening liability of companies for technological vulnerabilities and by creating good standards, both consumer choice and privacy can be ensured.

Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin or regulators picking the technological champions should be seen as measures of the last resort.

Read more here

Consumer privacy must be priority

Nearly every day we hear of more major cases of identity theft, financial crime and other forms of attacks or malicious interference on the internet. Breaches become commonplace and lax standards leave consumers worried about how their information is safeguarded.

The colossal breaches at British Airways and Marriott and Starwood in 2018 compromised the private data of hundreds of millions customers, and dozens more cases have surfaced since.

Such incidents are evidence that consumer data security, and also consumer privacy, are not being taken seriously. The adoption of Internet of Things solutions and the highly anticipated rollout of very fast 5G networks will make consumers’ privacy even more vulnerable in the next few years.

President Trump’s executive order to prevent companies from buying hardware and software from telecommunications firms deemed a national security risk is at least one good step in protecting privacy, but it’s sad to see it had to come to that.

Trump is likely influenced by statements of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has warned against using telecom equipment vendors from China on the basis of both national security and concerns for privacy.

In one case last fall, it was reported that Chinese officials put immense pressure on specific private firms to include so-called backdoors in their software or devices, which may be exploited either by government agents alone or with a manufacturer’s help. That only provokes more questions as to the influence of the Chinese Community Party on the Chinese firms that sell abroad.

With that in mind, for the ordinary consumer looking to buy their next smartphone, laptop or WiFi router, how can they rest assured their privacy will be secured?

As a response to threats like this, Australia banned the Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei from its 5G network. The United States has effectively done the same. But blanket bans aren’t a silver bullet solution for safeguarding privacy and data security. A mix of solutions is needed.

What we need is a smart policy response that would induce companies to give sufficient weight to consumer data security, all the while achieving that goal without undue market distortions, wholesale bans of certain firms and the limiting of consumer choice.

Healthy competition between private enterprises is the best mechanism for the discovery of the right tools and applications for new tech gear. Keeping new regulation technology-neutral, and thus not deciding by law which technological solution is best, is a very good framework for consumer privacy.

The rules should be focused on outcomes and be as general as possible while still providing sufficient guidance. That means not just the biggest companies who can afford to comply will also have a chance.

At the same time, some kind of certification scheme, or even open source standard,  should be adopted to minimize the risk of any backdoors or other vulnerabilities. That said, perfect security cannot be guaranteed. But ensuring companies use encryption and secure methods of authentication should be on the table.

Ideally, there would also be more supply chain liability for telecommunications operators and infrastructure wholesalers. This would push companies to take consumer privacy and security more into account when making procurement decisions.

Outright bans motivated by security concerns have the same effects as trade restrictions in the context of a trade war. The first victim of any trade war are the consumers of the nation imposing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. Unless there is no other workable solution and unless the evidence of a serious security risk is clear, we shouldn’t resort to bans.

The debate around 5G reminds us how vulnerable consumers are in a technologically and politically complex world.

Therefore, smart regulation is needed in order to protect consumers from data breaches and to prevent autocratic governments from spying on them.

By strengthening liability of companies for technological vulnerabilities and by creating good standards, both consumer choice and privacy can be ensured.

Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin or regulators picking the technological champions should be seen as measures of the last resort.

Read more here

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