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.
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.
Create a central database of known software vulnerabilities. This will allow consumers to know what products and services are affected, and help developers fix vulnerable code. Software security research firms typically publish their findings publicly and have a unique vulnerability identifier attached to their work.
There may be inconsistency between software vulnerability databases operated by different organisations.
Government-owned vulnerability databases may be biased in the security interests of that state.
The data from these databases are technical in nature and aren’t accessible by the average consumer.
Create legislation that is compatible across national borders, to ensure consumer rights are consistent where consumers purchase goods and services in a country other than the place they live.
Worldwide: ISO 12812 creates standards for mobile-based payments to allow cross-border operation.
European Union: The EU is pushing for a Digital Single Market, applying the concept of free movement of goods and people to digital services and online business. The European Commission is proposing closer co-operation in the enforcement of consumer rights.
The national data regulator maintains a searchable database of data controllers so consumers can find their point of contact and easily retrieve their data policies.
United Kingdom: Information Commissioner’s office maintains a searchable register of data controllers. Entries for each controller contain their date of registration, the expiry of this registration, their postal address and what personal data is processed.
Argentina: A similar service to that found in the United Kingdom exists, showing the contact details of a data controller.
Existing legislation may not require the data protection regulator to make registration records public.
Online registers can be limited in use, because their interfaces are difficult to use or the data isn’t available in an open format.
The data covered in online registers may not be extensive enough.
Digital skills are mapped so policy makers understand the quality of these skills in different regions and are able make effective interventions. This improves consumer access to the benefits of the digital marketplace.
United Kingdom: Doteveryone have created a heatmap, showing digital exclusion on a regional basis.
United Kingdom: Lloyds Bank have conducted research (PDF) on the relationship between digital skills and financial skills, arguing that those without digital skills are unable to benefit from the savings and banking accessibility found online.
European Union: The European Commission have 100 indicators that illustrate the success of different aspects of the European information society. Information about eCommerce has relevance to consumer empowerment, including statistics around people who order goods and services online and those who have encountered problems.
If skills mapping isn’t done at detailed geographic level, the information could be insufficient for effective policy intervention.
If measurements used to map skills are too broad, actionable assistance could be impossible.
Broadband speed is mapped throughout the country and released as open data. This is either done centrally or crowd-sourced from consumers. This allows policy makers and consumers to understand the quality of provision.
United Kingdom: The telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, releases open data around broadband connection speeds.
United States: The Federal Communications Commission release a yearly report called “Measuring Broadband America” that includes speed samples separated by geographical location.
Australia: The Broadband Availability and Quality Project have mapped broadband speed and technology capability across Australia, assigning A to E ratings on a neighbourhood level.
Canada: CTRC have mapped where broadband Internet services are available and the technologies used to provide those services.
Measurements must be done over a defined period to allow an average broadband speed to be calculated that more accurately reflects the quality of broadband in this area.
Data should be released with enough geographical resolution to make it useful. Showing street level broadband speeds is more useful than showing regional broadband speeds.
Gigabit-speed broadband connections offer up to 1 Gbps (1024 Mbps) of download speed and can theoretically download a 90 minute high definition film in 30 seconds.
Crowd-sourcing is a method of data collection where people independently contribute to a larger data set.
Software vulnerabilities are included in product recall notices and product recall notices are maintained and made available as open data, so that consumers are aware when they own an unsafe digital product.
European Union: The European Commission operate a database of product recalls. It allows people to subscribe to weekly product notifications.
OECD: Global Recalls collates data about product recalls from OECD member states. This information is available in English and French.
In 2016, the car manufacturer Tesla pushed an over-the-air update following a death caused by its autopilot system.
The changing nature of consumer products like cars mean that recalls can be avoided by pushing updates straight to the device. A report suggests that by 2022, 230 million vehicles could have this functionality.
A faster software update cycle could increase the risk that bugs are undetected.
Implementation of notices is a lost opportunity if it doesn’t incorporate shorter feedback loops.