Policy actions sorted A-Z.
Policy actions sorted A-Z.
Government policy should focus on technology as a priority. Legislation should be enacted that benefits all industries.
Technologies prioritised don’t contribute to a strong foundation for the benefits to emerge.
Poor contract negotiation locks Governments into particular providers.
Products that meet certain requirements of transparency, privacy and security are awarded a certification mark so that people know they can trust the product.
European Union: EuroPriSe is a privacy seal for organisations in the EU.
United Kingdom: The Information Commissioners Office is developing their own privacy seal that will be awarded by other organisations.
United Kingdom: BSI, known for their Kitemark Symbol, created a standard for secure digital transactions. IF have proposed a transparency mark that acts as both a certificate and as a link to more information about a product.
Consumers may not understand what a seal means and this could create a false sense of confidence in a service.
Seals establish a lowest common denominator.
Seals prove expensive to audit.
Definitive, standard registers of public open data (addresses, companies, etc) are maintained by the relevant authorities so that commercial and public services can be built on top of them.
United Kingdom: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office country register contains an authoritative list of country names.
Estonia: The eBusiness register contains information about business registered in Estonia.
Countries have already sold control of datasets to private organisations, for example, the Land Registry in Australia.
Competing registers could contain inconsistent data.
Canonical data is difficult to agree or contentious once established.
People have the right to directly access, in a standardised format, data held on them by data controllers so they can understand what is held about them, by whom, correct errors and reuse the data elsewhere.
In Australia, various energy providers allow you to download energy consumption data from their online portal.
United Kingdom: midata, is a programme that promotes data portability around personal banking information
Accessing this data alone isn’t enough to understand it. A service may be needed to interpret the data and make it readable by people.
Format is crucial: data locked in print or pdf publications can be hard to reinterpret.
Issues around child data and people who have power of attorney over someone are difficult to resolve.
People have the right to port their data between service providers so that they have genuine choice of providers. This is distinct from “enable people to access data held about them in an agreed format” as the particular data about a consumer isn’t readily accessible to them, but a transfer between services can be made.
European Union: Article 20 of the General Data Protection Regulation gives people the right to obtain and reuse their data across different services.
United Kingdom: QR codes on utility bills contain energy usage data for quick comparison between providers.
United Kingdom: Current account switch guarantee automates the process of changing banks by automatically transferring balances and direct debit instructions.
Switching mobile phone number: Communication regulators in many countries mandate that mobile phone numbers can be transferred between different networks.
Large, interlinked services operating effectively as monopolies could block transfer of data to services with a narrower focus.
Companies could use anti-patterns that make it difficult for people to transfer data between services.
Competition authorities can act to address the issues created by digital monopolies. This prevents services from having a stronghold on a certain sector, for example Uber in public transportation, and allows emerging services an ability to compete in the market.
European Union: A report from the European Parliament suggests competition law measures to weaken digital monopolies, namely ensuring data portability so consumers can easily switch between services. It also proposes a review on guidelines for horizontal mergers, where a larger company may be prevented from taking over a smaller company in the same field.
China: Commentators suggest that the definition of “assets” needs to be broadened to include data and web traffic to help regulators address digital monopolies.
Internet service providers are legally forbidden from prioritising data transfer by a certain digital service to ensure consumers have equal access to all services on any connection plan.
Brazil: The Civil Rights Framework for the Internet states that “all data packages must be treated equally, without distinction of content, origin and destination, service, terminal or application”.
India: Facebook Free Basics, a zero rated service, was banned by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India based on the 2016 Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations law.
European Union: Net neutrality regulations prevent EU internet service providers from throttling access to certain websites, unless there is a technical reason for doing so.
Introduction of net neutrality legislation has met resistance from internet service providers.
Particularly in emerging markets, free access to resources like Wikipedia Zero can have educational benefits.
People have access to the internet as a basic right to enable them access to the wider consumer market.
United Nations: In 2016, a resolution was made that condemned the “intentional disruption of internet access by governments” and upheld that “the same rights people have offline must be protected online”.
France: In 2009, a court struck down a portion of the HADOPI law, that gave authorities the ability to cut off internet access to people illegally downloading copyrighted content after two warnings, without judicial review, effectively declaring internet access a right.
Brazil: Under the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, “access to the Internet is deemed under the law as essential for the exercise of citizenship”.
Some may consider internet access as a luxury.
Difficult to distinguish between economic, consumer and civil/human rights.
Services automatically compensate consumers if the performance of a service is below the expected level. This gives consumers value for money and eases the process of getting compensation.
Create a means for a consumer to easily resolve a consumer dispute without having to resort to court action. This ensures the consumer is treated fairly in online transactions and avoids the resource intensive process of going to court.
European Union: An online dispute resolution service has been created that allows citizens of European member states to create complaints against organisations.
India: Online Consumer Mediation Centre provides digital infrastructure for resolving consumer disputes through physical and online mediation.
Mexico: Profeco, a consumer organisation, provides an online dispute resolution service called Concilianet.
Elsewhere: Online commerce services like eBay and PayPal provide dispute resolution services to resolve issues around non-payment, non-receipt of product and false advertising.
Administration and arbitration overheads could produce a backlog of complaints.
Services could be built to meet the needs of the digital platform rather than the needs of consumers.
Government issues guidance on how it procures services, which in turn has the potential to improve the quality of consumer products available in the market.
Consumer devices that require a service provider to function, like a mobile phone needs a mobile network, should not be locked into a particular provider to encourage competition between service providers and to maintain consumer choice. It may be necessary for a minimum contract period to run out, particularly for subsidised devices, but the consumer must be able to change networks after their contractual obligations have been met.
Most G20 countries have laws that prevent locking in consumers to using a particular service provider for a device.
United States: The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act allows mobile phones to be unlocked when a contract has been completed. Many other countries follow this model.
Japan: All devices sold by the three major mobile phone networks in Japan must be sold without a SIM lock when requested by the consumer, without a charge for this service.
Unsubsidised devices may cause retail prices to increase.
Lock in by stealth becomes more common.
Subsidised devices or broadband connections are made available to increase the number of people who can access digital services and benefit from them as consumers.
United Kingdom: Supported by Microsoft, Get Online At Home offers subsidised desktop and laptop computers.
United States: Broadband service provider Comcast offers a combination of discounted broadband service, low-cost computers and free training under their Internet Essentials program.
China: Subsidies exist for farmers in rural areas of China to buy computers, to encourage economic activity in the country.
The One Laptop Per Child programme allows national governments to purchase custom-built, cheap laptops to enable children to learn digital skills. These devices have been distributed in the US, India, Mexico and Brazil.
Broadband subsidies could cause price increases for other customers.
The quality of subsidised devices or connections could be insufficient for basic needs, and/or tied to content providers.
The technology that governments procure could be outdated by the time these devices are delivered to citizens.