Europe, proposal to increase privacy affects web giants

The EU studies a new regulation that allows to protect more effectively the privacy of users. It interests, in particular, Google, Facebook and WhatsApp

The European Commission calls for a stricter regulation to protect the privacy of citizens: in the crosshairs all communication and messaging services. The draft of the new regulation, in the plans of Brussels, aims to apply to email and chat the same rules currently in force the traditional telecommunications operators.

Europe expects that privacy is guaranteed both for the content of communications and for the "metadata" - so also on the time of the call, the duration or the place from which it is made - and aims at simpler rules for the management of cookies (or other identifiers such as, for example, the counters) by users and a 360-degree protection against spamming. The European Commission's new proposal for a regulation, in short, introduces the obligation of explicit consent for the processing of any personal information online that concerns users.

WhatsApp, Facebook and Google under the magnifying glass

The European Commission is therefore asking the Parliament and the Council to work quickly to be able to replace the current Directive 2002/58 on data protection in favor of the new regulation - more current and in line with technological innovations - by the end of May 2018. The novelty is, therefore, the extension of the current regulation on privacy also to communication and messaging services. The new regulation, translated into practice, no longer allows services such as Gmail, for example, to know the content and any other information - such as metadata - of mail messages without first receiving explicit consent from a user. Without consent, they can't use his data, and without his data, they can't send him targeted advertising. It's clear that such strict rules will put most of the free services that live precisely on advertising in great difficulty. The same is often true for instant messaging services: it is not possible to store anything, but really anything, without the users' authorization.

New rules also for cookies

Similar speech also for cookies. The objective here is to simplify their management by users who today continue to see that annoying banner on sites that asks if they accept the sending of "cookies" on their computer: a banner that many accept or close without even reading it. The European proposal foresees, instead, a default setting of browsers - that can be eventually modified - that automatically accepts non-intrusive cookies and blocks those that in some way violate privacy. Un esempio di cookie “innocuo” potrebbe essere quello del carrello degli acquisti effettuati online, uno meno innocuo, invece, è quello di localizzazione perché può essere usato per inviare eventuale pubblicità mirata o chissà cos’altro.

Obiettivo, debellare lo spam

Ultimo, ma non meno importante, è il capitolo dedicato alla posta indesiderata, ma non solo. L’Europa vuole mettere al bando ogni tipo di comunicazione non richiesta, a prescindere dal mezzo utilizzato, quindi, non solo le email, ma anche gli SMS e le telefonate se gli utenti, anche in questo caso, non ne hanno dato l’esplicito consenso. Sarà la soluzione alle chiamate a ogni ora da parte dei call center? Forse. La nuova normativa propone che chi effettua telefonate a scopo commerciale deve mostrare il proprio numero o usare un apposito prefisso che specifichi la natura della chiamata. Oppure puntare nuovamente su una soluzione tipo il “Registro delle Opposizioni”.

privacy-5-1.jpgFonte foto: Shutterstock

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