Monday, 6 April 2009

Net firms start storing user data

The BBC reports here that details of user e-mails, website visits and net phone calls will be stored by internet service providers (ISPs) from Monday under an EU directive [presumably the data retention directive]. The plans were drawn up in the wake of the London bombings in 2005. ISPs and telecoms firms have resisted the proposals while some countries in the EU are contesting the directive.

Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group states that [R]etaining traffic data creates potential risks of abuse by state agencies. Traffic data can be extremely useful for political control, eg by intelligence agencies. Experience shows that the risk of powers being abused, especially where they are exercised in secret, must not be underestimated even in Europe. More here.

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.