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Zero-rating in Portugal: Permissive regulator allows ISP to get away with offering some of the most expensive mobile data in Europe

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This is a guest post by Eduardo Santos of the Portuguese digital rights organisation D3 - Defesa dos Direitos Digitais. You can find the Portuguese version of this story on D3's website.

Highlights

  • ISPs ignored the Portuguese telecoms regulator ANACOM's recommendations, refusing, among other things, to increase the volumes of mobile data available to customers.

  • ANACOM does not show the will or courage to address the problem.

  • ISPs are protected from fines by a government that, since 2015, still has not changed the law to introduce them.

  • Little has changed with Portugal's zero-rating offers, which are considered the worst in Europe.

  • Mobile Internet Data in Portugal: We pay some of the highest prices in Europe and our traffic volumes rank among the lowest.

platformregulation.eu: An attempt at a fundamental rights based proposal

To foster the debate about one of the most complicated digital rights issues of our time, epicenter.works releases today its first draft for a proposal on platform regulation. What regulation is needed for the digital world we live in and how can we strengthen the values that we need to safeguard in today's digital information society?

Good news: Complaint against Passenger Name Record Collection rejected!

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Three weeks ago we officially lodged a complaint with the Austrian data protection authority against the Passenger Name Record directive - we reported on it earlier this year. After only three weeks, we have now received the response from the data protection authority: The complaint was rejected. That sounds negative at first, but in reality it is good news. Now we can and must file the complaint with the Federal Administrative Court within four weeks. 

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What a computer can actually do…

CC-BY-SA 4.0 Mollyrose89 edited

Our future with technology is a polarizing topic. While some urge that advancements pose grave threats to personal privacy and other fundamental rights, others believe whole-heartedly in the promise of new technologies to eradicate long-standing inequalities at a pace that humans have been unable – or unwilling – to go. This second vision, in which computers and algorithms solve social problems and have the power to fix the world, subscribes to a view of technological utopianism — the idea that, through reliance on new technologies, the world will become truly better for everyone.

Complaint filed against collection of airline passenger data

CC-BY-SA 4.0 Արման Բարսեղյան, edited

Together with our German partners from Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte, we are currently fighting to stop the collection of airline passenger data in Europe. To this end we just filed seven complaints in Austria with the Data Protection Authority regarding the practice of processing passenger data by a designated unit in the Interior Ministry. Our aim is the legal evaluation of the underlying PNR law, which is based on the EU PNR Directive, in order to determine whether it is in line with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

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E.U. vs. U.S.A.: What Can Different Attitudes Towards Platform Regulation Teach Us?

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The responsibility of communications platforms like Google, Twitter, and Facebook for their users’ online activities is a key factor affecting innovation and free speech in the 21st century. Still, the degree of liability for intermediaries – and the extent of online speech regulation – varies greatly, lacking a unified approach to regulation. Heightening the monitoring responsibilities of intermediaries is, in some ways, positive because intermediaries can work to support a healthy speech environment online.

An Explainer on the Base Rate Fallacy and PNR

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The base rate fallacy is the tendency to ignore base rates in the presence of specific, individuating information. Rather than integrating general information and statistics with information about an individual case, the mind tends to ignore the former and focus on the latter. This phenomenon is widespread – and it afflicts even trained statisticians, notes American-Israeli psychologist Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. He illustrates this common reasoning flaw early in the book with the following example. Kahneman writes:

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Upload filters approved: EU parliament votes for internet censorship

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Despite weeks of intense protests from civil society, MEPs have voted in favour of upload filters and Article 13. The fundamental rights NGO epicenter.works announces that it will take this law to the highest court and will continue to use all means to stop this excessive censorship infrastructure. 

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