Privacy and media: the issues
- In this age of Internet, connected TV sets and “second screens”, the possibilities to obtain personal data of media users (in both legal and... illegal ways) have multiplied exponentially.
- Such data is a very important commodity for advertisers, which can be used to provide individually targeted ads on online services and on all sorts of connected devices. Furthermore, personal data obtained via search engines, social media and connected devices can be used as a means to provide a better experience for the user of an online service.
- However, the obtaining and using of personal data by third parties, whether provided willingly or inadvertently by the users, can also have a very intrusive effect on their personal lives. Moreover, there are situations which require insight into a user's life that goes beyond what a user is prepared to accept.
The legal debate
- What interests the public is not necessarily of public interest. To protect the privacy of the individuals concerned, there should be a balance between accessing the information you really need and getting everything you want to know.
- In the media sector the need of a trade-off between what we want and what we need is particularly relevant when it comes to the exploitation of "Big data", considering both their influence on existing business models and their potential impact on freedom of expression, pluralism of information and its corollary editorial responsibility.
- At the same time there are cross-over cases where the borders between audiovisual regulation and data protection are not necessarily clear, both with regard to applicable provisions as to monitoring and enforcements aspects.
- This year's Observatory workshop, organised in Strasbourg at the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe in collaboration with EPRA, has tackled these issues from four different angles: 1) setting the scene, 2) impact on freedom of expression, 3) impact on pluralism of information and editorial responsibility, 4) working together.
- The workshop was opened by Susanne Nikoltchev, Executive Director of the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO), and by Celene Craig, Chairperson of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) and Deputy CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), after the welcoming words of Muriel Julien of the European Youth Centre (EYCS).
PANEL 1: Setting the scene
- The first panel of the workshop was moderated by Emmanuelle Machet, Secretary to the EPRA. This session sat the scene giving an overview of digital technologies exploiting personal data in the media and of the regulatory framework as to media regulation and data protection.
- “The goal of this documentary is to raise awareness (…) on how far the use of personal data can go.”, said Alexander Knetig.