Privacy and data protection


The World Economic Forum report "The Future of Jobs foresees a loss of over 5 million jobs - primarily in healthcare, energy, financial services and investors - due to advancements in artificial intelligence, machine-learning robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and genetics and biotechnology. The report, however, predicts new sets of skills that will be required for such a future and envisages job growth in new areas, primarily data analytics related to big data as well as emerging engineering skills and ICT. Information security analytics features among the jobs that will growth within fields of financial services and investors sector and the ICT.

Carnegie Europe has released a new publication, Governing Cyberspace: A Road Map for Transatlantic Leadership, written by Sinan Ulgen. The publication examines areas of convergence between Washington and Brussels in order to 'identify and jointly shape a more ambitious global agenda'. The main topics addressed are privacy, freedom of expression, e-commerce and cybersecurity. The publication can be accessed online.

The Federal Court of Justice in Germany has declared unlawful Facebook’s ‘Friend Finder’ feature. ‘Friend Finder’ invites users to grant it permission to vacuum up the e-mail addresses of contacts in the address book, thus allowing the social network to send an invitation to non-Facebook users to join the service. According to Forbes, the German Court ruled that the feature is a deceptive marketing practice, violating national laws on data protection and unfair trade practices.

On 13 January 2016, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a Recommendation on protecting and promoting the right to freedom of expression and the right to private life with regard to network neutrality. The recommendation, addressed to CoE member states, contains a number of guidelines on net neutrality. As a general principles, it is underlined that 'Internet users’ right to receive and impart information should not be restricted by means of blocking, slowing down, degrading or discriminating Internet traffic associated with particular content, services, applications or devices, or traffic associated with services provided on the basis of exclusive arrangements or tariffs.’ Specific guidelines are given in relation to: equal treatment of Internet traffic, pluralism and diversity of information, privacy, transparency and accountability.

In a new judgment, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that employers may read private communications made during office hours. The case of Bărbulescu v. Romania involved a Romanian national who had instituted action against his employer after his employment contract was terminated for breach of the company’s internal regulations, and the fact that transcripts of personal messages were produced as evidence. With six votes to one, the Court ruled that it is not unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during working hours.

A survey conducted by Broadband Genie indicates that 63% of Brits are in favour of the use of mass Internet surveillance. Furthermore, 67% of Brits say they lack confidence in the ability of ISPs to store their data safely. When it comes to accessing personal data, national and local authorities are considered to be among the least trustworty by the Brits, who placed them below police and intelligence agencies.




The GIP Digital Watch observatory is provided by



and members of the GIP Steering Committee


GIP Digital Watch is operated by

Scroll to Top