Data Protection

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Gunther Pauli:

"Datamining, and novel wireless data transmission infrastructure are important features of a digital society. However, it is urgent that there is in parallel a clear and solid data protection in place and enforced. Whatever Europe has done to date is grossly insufficient. Information is today subjected to predatory strategies where all information is ultimately controlled by a few players, and none of them are local. We recognize that Europe has made an effort to protect data and limit the use of cookies (tracking), but that its enforcement has been disappointing. The hard reality is that all wireless transmitted data is immediately recorded, stored and instantly analyzed in order to be sold to a third party elsewhere with each click on a computer or tick on a smart phone screen.

We have come to the ridiculous situation, where a question submitted on an search engine by a citizen in Ravenna (Italy), about a restaurant in Ravenna is sent over mobile networks and a transatlantic fiber optical cable to a set of servers on the other side of the world that will have full control of the data. Then, Ravenna’s public or private organizations will pay these data miners for placing advertising in their home location. The platform will make these local players pay for being ranked on top of others when questions are raised on “where to go”, and so on. The data collected on the restaurants and the interested client are gathered overseas as well, and resold. The worst of all, these overseas datamining companies do not pay any taxes in Ravenna (or Italy). This is serfdom, not free search information!

Only when Governments embark on a dedicated strategy to ensure full data protection while offering local data mining, will there be a chance to have this industry develop in full confidence in the eyes of the public at large. Unfortunately, the radio communications chosen was never selected for its safety standards, and as a result over 30% of the world’s digital budgets are spent on … securing devices without much success. Since transmission of any data over light cannot be hacked, there is for the first time a window of opportunity that has been overlooked. Indeed, in order to recover data from light, one has to position a device between the sender and receiver, de facto disconnecting the transmission of data. This stands in stark contrast with radio wave based communications where one can steal data at hundreds meters distance with off-the-shelf equipment as Mrs. Angela Merkel had to learn the hard way when her secured calls were monitored from the American Embassy." (