Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ePrivacy - overlooking the technicals

As we normally confine ourselves to issues surrounding Data and IP related telephony I had quite forgotten about this:
On 14 April 2009 the European Commission launched an infringement proceeding against the UK concerning incorrect transposition in UK law of EU law requirements concerning confidentiality of communications provided in the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC and the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC concerning user consent, sanctions in case of infringements and independent authority to supervise interception activities. On 29 October, further to analysis of the UK authorities' response to the letter of formal notice, the Commission proceeded to the next stage of the Reasoned Opinion.

The bottom line is that "There is no legal requirement for UK mobile customers using pre-paid cards (‘pay as you go’ customers) to register with their operators."

It was only this weeks announcements about the scrapping of the much hated ID cards here in the UK that reminded me.

Not usually one for infringement of civil liberties - I think this is wrong-headed, there are plenty of ways of 99% positively identifying an individual ; passports, drivers licenses, credit cards et al.  ID cards were just a 'doomed from birth' knee-jerk reaction to 9/11and given that contracts worth over £1bn possibly some fierce lobbying.  But, untraceable mobile communications are a standard tool of the underworld, from your friendly neighbourhood 'hoody' drug dealers to international terrorists and every shade in between; and isn;t it just bizarre that as countries like Mexico and Brazil are moving to force registration of all mobile devices, 'uber-liberal' Europe is going the other way?!

Bit like the economy :-(

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