Is e-data the new currency? New ENISA report looks at privacy and tracking

Nov 14, 2012

Internet users are increasingly tracked and profiled, with personal data being treated as currency in exchange for services. A gap exists between the legal requirements for personal data protection and the practice in the online environment.

The new Regulation proposal by the European Commission (COM2012/11/final), aims to address these challenges from a legal perspective. This ENISA study provides a technical aspect on behavioural tracking, identifying the need for an interdisciplinary approach to address the privacy risks associated with tracking mechanisms.

Risks from tracking include global surveillance by governments and companies; service and price discrimination; and personalisation risks from data filtering. Protective measures are focused at a technological, legislative and educational level. ENISA’s recommendations are addressed to regulators, policy stakeholders, researchers and developers. These proposals include: anti-tracking initiatives and solutions for mobile applications; development of easy-to-use tools for transparency and control; enforcement of compliance with rules and regulations on personal data protection monitoring and detecting violations; and promoting privacy-by-design to ensure meaningful privacy policies.

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