Building Trust 22 November 2017

European Regional Bureau Newsletter – 4 Nov – 10 Nov 2017

Internet Access

EU: Feedback on the first trilogue on the European Electronic Communications Code

  • On November 6, MEP Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP, ES), European Parliament Rapporteur of the European Electronic Communications Code, gave a feedback on the first trialogue meeting between the co-legislators (October 25).
  • MEP Del Castillo Vera said the main objective of the Code was to boost investments in very high capacity networks in order to establish the right environment for 5G deployment.
  • She highlighted that the involvement of all European Parliament political groups at the first trilogue (through the participation of shadow rapporteurs) was excellent. Bulgaria, who will hold the next presidency round, is also attending the meetings.
  • The second trilogue will take place on December 6 and will largely focus on spectrum related issues.

EU: Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society meeting

  • The Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society is meeting on November 15 to discuss the European Electronic Communications Code.
  • The meeting will examine the presidency text ahead of the second trilogue meeting between the EU co-legislators (European Parliament, Commission and Council of the EU) on the file, scheduled for December 6.
  • Various issues, such as the duration of spectrum licenses, international calls tariffs and encryption are expected to be part of the discussion.


EU: First annual review of the US-EU Privacy Shield

  • On November 6, an exchange of views was held in the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) with Tiina Astola, European Commission’s Director-General of DG Justice and Consumers (DG JUST), on the first annual review of the Privacy Shield, the framework for transatlantic exchanges of personal data for commercial purposes between the EU and the US.
  • Ms Astola painted an optimistic view of the Privacy Shield’s status, stating the system is functioning well, and great effort has been made under the current US presidency.
  • On the other hand, several Members of the European Parliament criticised the slow pace of transposition of the Privacy Shield by the Trump administration and raised concern over data protection standards for EU citizens. In this regard, Ms Astola said the US insisted that the protection for non-Americans offered by Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28) would not be touched.

Spain: Spanish data protection authority fines Google €300,000

  • On November 7, the Spanish data protection agency, La Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), fined Google €300,000 for collecting information on Wi-Fi access points using its Street View fleet.
  • The agency’s announcement claims the collection included e-mail addresses and passwords, IP addresses, MAC addresses of routers and devices connected to them, and names of wireless networks (SSID) configured with the name and surnames of users.

EU: ENISA’s Executive Director addresses IoT at the European Parliament

  • On November 7, Prof. Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, Executive Director of the EU Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA), restated the importance of cybersecurity in the EU, at a public hearing held in the European Parliament.
  • Prof. Dr. Udo Helmbrecht urged the EU to improve its cybersecurity capabilities to avoid an increasing negative impact on the whole society.
  • He said that cybersecurity should not only be considered a threat, but instead should be seen as an opportunity to promote a new generation of products and services, with security by design being a key element.

EU: Security Commissioner King speech at FT Cybersecurity Summit

  • On November 8, European Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, delivered a keynote speech at the FT Cybersecurity Summit in London. The event largely focussed on dangers in cyberspace, decoding cyber risk, and skills gap.
  • Commissioner King stressed the importance to redefine what is meant by cybersecurity, ensuring it embraces the full range of challenges stemmed from the digital revolution.
  • He said both governments and the public sector need to play their part, putting in place national cybersecurity strategies. However, only a closer cooperation with the private sector can bring the change needed to tackle cyber threats effectively, with “a new sense of Corporate Social Responsibility for the digital era needed”.

EU: Justice Commissioner Jourová discusses data protection at IAPP Congress

  • On November 8, European Commissioner for the Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, spoke at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Europe Data Protection Congress.
  • She highlighted the important role played by data protection practitioners in getting Europe ready for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which would enter into force on May 25, 2018.
  • She said both citizens and businesses would have to be well informed about the new set of rules, which must be consistent across the EU. She said guidance was fundamental in the interpretation and the effective implementation of the GDPR.
  • She added fragmentation must be avoided and countries in the world needed to be as aligned as possible to facilitate global data flows.
  • The European Commission will launch an information campaign, focussed on SMEs and the public to raise awareness on the new laws, along with an EU Data Protection Day, scheduled for January 28, 2018.

EU: Digital Commissioner Gabriel answers question on national cybersecurity strategies

  • On November 8, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, answered a parliamentary question from MEP Del Castillo Vera (EPP, ES) on the implementation of national cybersecurity strategies.
  • Commissioner Gabriel said the Commission’s Communication on “Making the most of Network and Information Systems” (October 4, 2017) encourages Member States to adopt national cybersecurity strategies (NCSS) covering additional sectors (i.e. public administration) and digital services, to those included in the Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive).
  • She reminded that, as stated in the NIS Directive, Member States are required to have in place as of May 10, 2018 all provisions necessary to comply with the Directive, and these should include national strategies.

EU: Joint meeting of the Horizontal WP on Cyber Issues and the WP on Telecommunications

  • The Joint meeting of the Horizontal Working Party on Cyber Issues and the Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society took place on November 9.
  • The meeting discussed the proposal for a regulation on the EU Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) and the information and communication technology cybersecurity certification (Cybersecurity Act). This aims at strengthening the role of ENISA and to set the basis for a future EU cybersecurity certification scheme for the Internet of Things devices.


EU: Lisbon Web Summit comes to an end

  • Connectivity, competition, Artificial intelligence (AI), and cybersecurity were some of the key themes of the Web Summit held in Lisbon on 6-9 November.
  • Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition, told participants that competition “makes innovation work.” She added that big data should not affect competition and “controlling large amounts of data shouldn’t become a way to shut rivals out of the market.”
  • Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas stressed the importance of AI and self-driving vehicles. During a meeting with Meng Hongwei, President of Interpol, they discussed the compatibility of different information systems in internal security and the need to strengthen cybersecurity in Europe.
  • Walter Jennings, vice-president of Corporate Communications at Huawei Technologies, said in five years we would have full 5G implemented, with the maximum number of connections possible closer to 100 billion, compared to the current 1 billion.
  • Physicist and thinker Stephen Hawking also appeared on-stage at the Summit, affirming “success in creating effective AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst.”

Internet of Opportunity event in Brussels

  • As part of its series of Regional Internet Development Dialogues, the Internet Society organised a full day conference on the “Internet of Opportunity: Will the Internet benefit all Europeans?” on 7 November in Brussels
  • The event featured panel debates and discussion on the effect of the Internet on employment and innovation, as well as the importance of access to the Internet and the need to ensure that users can trust organisations in the new digital economy.
  • Keynote remarks were provided by MEP Michal Boni who warned of the harms caused by organisations using data without concern for privacy issues, solely focussed on monetisation. He also raised artificial intelligence as a key issue, asking how humans and AI could cooperate rather than replace each other.


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