ACM-Europe Policy News

December 2016

EUACM NEWS

EUACM is pleased to announce that the Cybersecurity White Paper finalized in October 2016 is finally available online; you can download the paper here. We are currently in touch with the Scientific Advisory Mechanism (SAM) of the European Commission to develop further our white paper. Therefore, we are looking for expert volunteers from the ACM Europe community willing to collaborate with key references in some specific areas of cybersecurity. For further information please write to m.meitern@acm.org. At the end of January EUACM is planning to attend some policy events in Brussels such as the Science|Business event on Defence R&D and an FP9 working group meeting. We will report on the results of these events later. The ACM Europe Council is also starting to prepare a cybersecurity technical track for the ACM Europe conference which will take place in Barcelona on 7 September 2017. EUACM is actively supporting this part of the agenda, which will be published soon.

EUROPEAN POLICY NEWS

Privacy and Security

ePrivacy Consultation Results

On December 19 the European Commission published the results of a public consultation about citizens' views on online privacy. The results show that nationals of the European Union are strongly in favor of protecting their confidentiality online, while industry holds a mixed opinion. Commission ordered two studies, a public consultation and a Eurobarometer study. The Eurobarometer study received 27,000 responses. According to the survey 89% of the citizens would like to see that "the default settings of their browser should stop their information from being shared" and 90% would like to have the possibility to encrypt all their messages and calls. The complete report can be found here.

The results of these studies will be used when reviewing the ePrivacy Directive, which the EC is expected to reveal in the beginning of 2017.

European Court of Justice Ruling on Legality of Surveillance Measures

On 21 December the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a verdict on the legality of surveillance measures. The court ruled that data retention is only allowed when it is targeted and it is aimed at combating "serious" crime, in all other circumstances "indiscriminate" data gathering is not compatible with European human rights law. Therefore, national laws that allow governments to force companies to store data on the online activity of all customers are incompatible with the ruling. The court states in its press release that "the Members States may not impose a general obligation to retain data on providers of electronic communications services".

eSkills

Launch of Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition

On 1 December European Commission launched the new Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, which has as its aim to meet the high demands of digital skills at European labour market. Coalition members are committing themselves to address the issue of the digital skills gap from high-level ICT skills to the skills needed by a regular citizens in their everyday life. The commission is calling for all stakeholders to join the initiative. The commission states that "all organisations, groups or government bodies taking action to boost digital skills in Europe can become members of the Coalition by endorsing the objectives and principles of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Members Charter online". Until now 39 organizations have made pledges under the initiative.

Miscellaneous

Galileo

On 15 December European Union's Global Satellite Navigation system (GNSS), also known as the European GPS, started to offer Galileo's initial services. Currently the Galileo constellation consists of 18 satellites, and another 12 satellites are expected to join the ones already in orbit by 2020. Vice-President Maros Sefcovic is expecting Galileo to "increase geo-location precision ten-fold and enable the next generation of location-based technologies; such as autonomous cars, connected devices, or smart city services."

In addition to GPS, Galileo is expected to: support emergency operations; offer more accurate navigation for citizens; better time synchronization for critical infrastructures; and secure services for public authorities. Galileo will be managed by the European GNSS Agency and the programme is run by the European Commission with the help of European Space Agency.

Ansip to take over the Digital Economy and Society portfolio from Oettinger

On 28 October President Juncker decided that Gunter H. Oettinger will become the Commissioner responsible for Budget and Human Resources beginning January 1, 2017. Therefore, Oettinger's portfolio of Digital Economy and Society will be transferred temporarily to Vice-President Andrus Ansip. Digital Economy and Society portfolio entails media and information issues such as telecoms and IT.

EVENTS

Upcoming Events in January and February

CALLS AND CONSULTATIONS

Public Consultations

Open Calls

Forthcoming Calls

 

The ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) is a standing committee of ACM Europe Council dedicated to engage with the European Commission and member states' governmental bodies and informatics and computer science communities. The aim is to become a source of expert advice on computer science and informatics matters representing the entire computer science professional community.

EUACM distributes monthly newsletters to keep our members informed of policy issues and developments in Europe, as well as past and future EUACM meetings and activities.

We are always looking for readers' feedback. Please let us know your comments and requests. Please send your feedback to Maarja Meitern at m.meitern@acm.org.