Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is there a future for a privacy-friendly Internet?

April 11, 2013
University of East Anglia
A privacy-friendly Internet might be possible in the future according to an academic.

A privacy-friendly Internet might be possible in the future according to an academic at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Speaking at a conference today (Friday April 12), Dr Paul Bernal will paint a picture of what a privacy-friendly Internet might look like in practice and put forward a series of Internet privacy rights -- rights that are both theoretical and achievable -- and look at how the implementation of those might impact upon the Internet.

It follows the proposal of ideas such as the 'right to be forgotten' and of a 'do not track' system with tracking off by default. Both have been attacked as unworkable and likely to 'destroy' the Internet -- the former by undermining free speech, the latter by making the economic model that supports the 'free' Internet unsustainable.

A lecturer at UEA's Law School, Dr Bernal's research areas include Internet privacy and data protection, social networking and online identity.

"It seems that almost every time measures are proposed to preserve individuals' privacy against intrusive or surveillance technologies or activities that they are met with two swift responses," he said. "Industry bodies, their supporters and advocates for laissez-fair ideologies shout out that the core Internet values will be undermined, and that the Internet will be destroyed, while others, proclaiming themselves to be pragmatists, state that it is far too late to do anything in practice, or that the idea is simply unworkable.

"The upshot of these kinds of argument is that, ultimately, a 'privacy friendly' Internet is impossible, but I'm suggesting that that it is not necessarily true."

The rights Dr Bernal puts forward include: • A right to roam the Internet with privacy • A right to monitor those monitoring us • A right to delete personal data • A right to identity, comprising rights to create, assert and protect that identity • Rights to anonymity and pseudonymity

Dr Bernal will outline how businesses might function within a privacy-friendly Internet and proposes a series of possible new business models, including an account of search and navigation mechanisms, social networking platforms and online retail activities which embed privacy norms and values.

"Crucially, this privacy-friendly environment does not absolve governments of their regulatory responsibilities," said Dr Bernal. "I aim to shed some light on the governance challenges for governments and their role in designing legal mechanisms that not only overcome the shortcomings in the current privacy framework but paves the way for creating mechanisms that incentivise industry to regard privacy respecting values as a legitimate business goal.

"There are some signs suggesting that people might be beginning to both want a privacy-friendly future and to be willing to make personal decisions to help bring it about."

Dr Bernal will conclude with an assessment of how such a future might come about -- and also anticipates some serious and significant barriers to the creation of a privacy-friendly Internet, in particular the vested interests of both industry and government in blocking some of its implications.

Dr Bernal presents his research, entitled A privacy-friendly future?, at the 28th annual British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA) conference, taking place at the Liverpool Law School, University of Liverpool.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Is there a future for a privacy-friendly Internet?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411194657.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2013, April 11). Is there a future for a privacy-friendly Internet?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411194657.htm
University of East Anglia. "Is there a future for a privacy-friendly Internet?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411194657.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This

More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News


      Free Subscriptions

      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile

      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?

      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins