Active Citizens Take Action

Welcome to on-line discussion board of the Active Citizens Take Action project aiming to bring together citizens active in youth and Internet non–governmental organizations across Europe to discuss topics of Internet privacy and On-line forums as democratic tool. Results from facilitated on-line discussions will be summarized in facilitators report presenting key messages and main proposals from participants. Reports will be delivered to decision-makers at the European and national level by partner organizations asking them to provide official feedback. Feedbacks received from decision-makers will published in this discussion board.

* Internet privacy
* On-line forums as democratic tool?

Bojana Skrt, ACTA project manager
Simon Delakorda, ACTA on-line discussion facilitator

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Discussion: Internet privacy

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Internet Privacy Discussionsource: browertech.wordpress.comThe capability for individuals to interact online without giving-up their personal privacy is a crucial element of the Internet's value, and is strongly related to its trustworthiness. It is about keeping the capability to disclose data consensually, and with expectations about the context and scope of sharing. The privacy implications of the current Internet represent a significant and growing concern.

Internet privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, repurposing, providing to third-parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet. Having this in mind data protection laws cover the principle that individuals should have control over their personal information. Many of the worldwide laws for the protection of privacy have various objectives, from attempt to remedy past injustices under authoritarian regimes, to promote electronic commerce, and enable global trade. Effective laws governing the collection and handling of personal information could help minimize monitoring by governments, regulate surveillance by companies and ensure that personal information is properly protected (Privacy International).

Internet privacy covers many areas, and some of the most important are:

  • Children's Online Privacy: The interactive nature of the Internet enabled marketers to collect personal information from children through their registration to chat rooms and discussion boards, to track behavior of web surfers through advertisements, and to promise gifts in exchange for personal information
  • Social Networking Privacy: Social networking Web sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn have become established forums for keeping in contact with old acquaintances and meeting new ones, for sharing personal information, and for establishing mobile communication capabilities.
  • Cybersecurity Privacy: Privacy interest in cybersecurity involves establishing protocols and effective oversight regarding when, why, and how government agencies may gain access to personal information that is collected, retained, used, or shared.
  • Data Protection: The European Convention on Human Rights and Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union expressly recognizes the fundamental right to the protection of personal data. For several years, law enforcement agencies in various countries have urged the adoption of "data retention" requirements, which would compel communications service providers to routinely capture and archive information detailing the telephone calls, e-mail messages and other communications of their users.
  • Communications Surveillance: Interception and monitoring of individuals' communications is becoming more widespread, more indiscriminate and more invasive, just as our reliance on electronic communications increases.
  • Cloud Computing: Cloud computing refers to data, processing power, or software stored on remote servers made accessible by the Internet as opposed to one's own computers. The emergence of cloud computing services is structured around a re-imagining of the relationship between technology and end users. The end user must rely on the cloud computing service provider to ensure that data is kept secure and reliably accessible.

This discussion is aiming to build upon existing practice by identifying both positive and negative experiences of internet privacy as well to propose decision-makers (politicians & government) how they should produce future laws regulating privacy issues.

Thus, the discussion starting questions are:

  1. Which aspects of internet privacy you consider positive and which aspects are discouraging you?
  2. Which challenges you see in the future for internet privacy?
  3. To which extent would you give up your privacy in order to feel more secure?
  4.  If you were a decision-maker, for which area of internet privacy would you construct new laws?
  5. Can self-regulation successfully address privacy concerns? Would you feel more secure if privacy is regulated by governments?

Time frame: Discussion will end on 17th of February 2013. The summary results of discussion will be submitted to decision makers as well presented at the ACTA conference in Maribor (Slovenia) in March 2013.

Privacy statement: No e-mail registration is needed to participate (unless you would like to receive updates about new contributions). Contributions can be posted by either a real name or anonymously. No personal data will be included into discussion report provided by facilitator.

Discussion rules: please follow generally accepted rules for on-line discussions provided by For more information please contact facilitator  Ta e-poštni naslov je zaščiten proti smetenju. Če ga želite videti, omogočite Javascript. .

Metamorphosis, Foundation for internet and society


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  • Guest
    Guest Petek, 25 Januar 2013

    My suggestion would be to use the following logic white discussing the topic. Data that concerns individuals, like emails, pictures, search words etc. should be private and data that concerns whole society should be public, he data of tlike government (not the Nuclear Launch Codes :) , corporations, and other institutions that have influence on society. Why? Because my personal data influences only my personal well-being, while data that concerns society influences well-being of the mass of people and should be disclosed, if it doesn`t do more harm disclosed. As we don`t allow individuals to influence our personal wellbeing whitout our informed! consent, same rule should apply also to institutions.

  • Tvrtko
    Tvrtko Nedelja, 27 Januar 2013

    One of the biggest challenges for internet privacy is creating a critical mass of people in society who take the idea of internet privacy seriously.

    The problem is in some ways similar to internet piracy, intangible things are neither perceived nor treated like their physical counterparts. An alarming number of people consider their privacy on the internet to be a lost cause and do not even see this as a reason for concern.

    People need to be made aware that a letter is a letter no matter what form it is written in, because it protects your right to speak to another person without the rest of the world being privy to every word you write.

    The challenge lies in making people feel as wronged when somebody goes trough their e-mail as when they find their letters ripped open.

    In a democratic society a cause outfought for is a cause lost and people will not fight until they realize what is at stake.

  • Guest
    Peter Torek, 19 Februar 2013

    I believe that we have a dichotomy on the question of the internet privacy at the moment. On the one hand, we are all using the internets as if we know and understand the privacy questions, and the future implications of the information that we share. On the other hand the discussion has not been made yet and the knowledge is not wide-spread yet. On the third hand we can not see even in the near future and we do not understand in what way the information is going to spread. With all that in mind, I feel that we will see a change in the knowledge and understanding of the people what to do and what not to do in the future. With that we will also see real limitations on the way how our information can be used. But it is a long way there, and untill we get there we will see a lot of info and pictures that should not be available to all.

  • Guest
    Le Fou Sreda, 20 Februar 2013

    The principle of anonimity is a certain part of internet privacy which is quite amazing and which is in a way making people feel more secure when posting and expressing opinions for which they might have not enough courage to express them publicly. That certain principle is creating an atmosphere of virtual protection, instead of repressing the individual who expressed something quite controversial, or who at least had no courage of expressing his opinions whatsoever before.
    Challenges considering internet privacy will probably be the constant need of governments and larger corporations who want to have insight to private lives of their citizens. That need is directly violating principles of anonimity and prinicples of unconditional internet freedoms. Couple of years ago, internet was a free zone. Nowdays, it's being more and more controlled and followed by those govs and corporations who are trying to gather more and more informations for different purposes. The challenge will probably be how to protect freedoms and anonimity and privacy of individuals on the internet.
    I would definately not be ready to give up all of my freedom in order to MAYBE feel more secure. Nobody is guaranteeing that giving away our freedoms will directly lead towards more secure and safer society, or internet enviroment. Several different factors are effecting the existence of security. Restrictions on rights and freedoms might be just a small part of possible mechanism which might lead to security, but there are no guarantees that this scenario will actually happen.
    The only law considering internet that i would be imposing would be the one considering paedophilia, but those laws are already regulating the protection of children quite well and defining each and every act related to children (on the internet) as a criminal offence. Those, and similiar spheres of the internet are the ones that should be regulated as in the real world. The rest of it might be the subject of future debates.

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Guest Četrtek, 25 Julij 2024