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The Europe roundup: From Minister Aigner to Mark Zuckerberg: the importance of privacy

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, May 17 2010

  • Germany | From Minister Aigner to Mark Zuckerberg: the importance of privacy
    German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner has written an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, expressing her concerns about Facebook’s plans to further relax data protection regulations:

    I use the Internet every day, both professionally and privately, and am a member of several social networks, including Facebook. Social networks are an enrichment and it is difficult to imagine our lives without them. Networks such as Facebook link millions of people across national boundaries, and it is for this very reason that particular importance must be attached to protecting privacy.

    Minister Aigner wrote also as a user, demanding that the amendments to the social network’s terms of use be communicated in a clear and straightforward manner to all users, even suggesting that she could leave the social network.

  • EU | European Citizens' Initiative: joint efforts in the Salzburg Manifesto
    The European Citizens' Initiative is being defined and discussed in several public hearings (the latest took place last week in Brussels) but there are several questions still open. Civil College Foundation's Madarász Csaba asks eParticipation experts to join civil society actors in the process:

    European Civil society is now criticising various aspects of the Commission proposed regulation, such as the admissibility check procedure, the provided time for the consultation, the needed infrastructure. The vast citizen group is putting attention to the forthcoming challenges: they have already started to build the needed infrastructure to support the practical application of the ECI (read more about it in the Manifesto).

    Civil society actors have already created a group that produced the Salzburg manifesto, pointing out the main issues. In the next week the group will create an infrastructure to support the practical application of the ECI, coordinating efforts through a web portal (not online yet).

  • UK | Labour party (online) rising stars?
    Who's Labour Party online hope? Labour MP Stella Creasy, as we found out in our PdF "Action replay" event which took place in London last week. Read more in Nancy Scola's post on TechPresident
  • UK | The buzz on UK councils
    CouncilMonitor is a website that tracks what is being said on British councils, searching through news, blogs, forums and social media sites and comparing their reputations. The service was launched in December 2009 and it is starting to publish montly reports with detailed analysis. 
  • UK | Stability Vs. Accountability
    Facebook page Democracy UK has an interesting questions for his readers:

    Facebook users are campaigning against plans to change parliamentary rules to make it harder to remove the government - a new group says No to 55%. Yes to accountable government. What do you think? Is stability more important than accountability?