The Policy Challenges of Electronic Privacy

October 16, 2006

European citizens leave ever increasing quantities of electronic footprints. A report from EPTA points out how policy makers can address the new challenges to privacy.

Information technology and mobile communication are constantly developing, and dramatically extend the possibilities for data collection, storage and analysis. Wherever you go – in the Internet, driving your car in urban areas, or just walking around with our mobile phone turned on – you leave “electronic footprints”. These footprints can easily be stored, copied and searched for an indefinite period of time.

Short-term gains from the use of new technology might have severe long-term effects for privacy unless the authorities take action, stresses a report from the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment network (EPTA). The report summarises findings from seven different European countries.