On International Privacy Day, A Call for Evidence-Based Policy
26 January 2012 — Saturday, January 28, is International Privacy Day, celebrating the day that the first international convention on privacy was signed in 1981. The Council of Europe and the European Commission initiated this commemoration in 2007, and a wide variety of activities are being held in cities around the world to underscore the importance of privacy protections.
On 25 January the EU published its new rules governing the use of personal data protection.
Additionally, the the International Conference on Computer, Privacy and Data Protection is hosting discussions around how to ensure laws governing personal data can work in the light of globalisation, outsourcing and developments such as cloud computing and behavioural advertising.
Research by RAND Europe illustrates the complexities of maintaining privacy protections whilst supporting the legitimate use of personal data for economic and social purposes.
The European Commission actively supports "eGovernment" — the use of information and communication technologies to provide and improve services, transactions, and interactions among governments, citizens, and businesses. At the Commission's request, RAND Europe has assessed the objectives and priorities of Europe's eGovernment strategy and analysed the extent to which current policies and instruments can deliver on these priorities.
The use of radio frequency identification in the healthcare setting holds the potential for improved patient safety and reduced costs. RAND Europe studied individual cases to identify the potential and real costs and benefits of RFID deployment in European healthcare, as well as the critical success and failure factors of RFID implementation programmes in practice. An initial set of reports provide a framework for conducting cost-benefit analyses in the future and to stimulate the effective monitoring and capturing of cost-benefit data in care delivery settings. A final report presents three scenarios for 2020, to describe futures in which the technology and health care sectors develop in different ways.
A series of studies by RAND Europe explore requirements for delivering a secure eGovernment environment for mobile European citizens, based on the lessons learned from existing services and initiatives and identified challenges in the national and pan-European environments. Also examined are the benefits that Pan-European eGovernment Services (PEGS) can provide and how best to implement them.
To understand the privacy, liberty, and security trade-offs individuals are willing to make, and so policy makers can be better informed about citizens' true preferences in this domain, RAND Europe undertook an innovative stated-preference discrete-choice modelling study. The research included three real-life case studies where these factors come into play: applying for a passport, traveling on the national rail network, and attending a major public event such as the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
This report reviews the technology trends underlying the future Internet Society. It assesses the possible future socio-economic impacts of a connected world; as well as the changing business models that are likely to emerge in the next 5 to 10 years. The ultimate objective of the study is to make future policy recommendations for the successor programme to the current ICT strategy of the European Commission. Possible future impacts were analysed through trend analysis, surveys, scenario based workshops and econometric modelling.
RAND Europe alongside time-lex and GNKS-Consult recently completed a review of the European Data protection Directive 95/46/EC for the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The Directive is the main regulatory means to provide for the protection of the personal data of European citizens. Whilst the Review found that some current problems Directive may be addressed by better and more practicable implementation, future arrangements will need to be more focused on outcomes and tougher enforcement with appropriate regulation of those using personal data.