Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W27A20): China v/ USA, India and Canada over privacy and security; EDPS released its 2020-2024 strategy ; U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); E-waste in Africa; Brazil’s fake news bill; UNESCO on AI; ISO on IoT.
This week, China on the front foot against USA, India and Canada responding to security and privacy accusations over its tech companies 5G equipment. In Europe, European Data Protection Supervisor publishes the 2020-2024 strategy on Data protection. In North America, The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) officially entered into force. Russia announced the enforcement of the federal law on Electronic signatures. In Africa, the Internet Society urges countries to invest in internet Exchange Points; and thirty-four people were arrested for attempting to export 2,500 tonnes of e-waste to eight African countries. In Brazil, the Senate approved a bill governing rules on fake news and the National Congress promulgated Act No. 71/2020 on data protection. The International Organization for Standardization released three new standards relating to Internet of Things and UNESCO announced the beginning of a two-year process to elaborate instruments on ethics of artificial intelligence. The World Travel & Tourism Council called for biometrics and integrated strategy to support safe air travel during COVID-19.
GEOPOLITICS OF 5G: US / CHINA BATTLE CONTINUES
The US Federal Communications Commission designated Chinese’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp as posing threats to U.S. national security. China responded urging USA to stop “oppressing Chinese companies” accusing Washington of “abusing state power”.
However, Huawei found rooms for business in USA allies with companies from Japan stepping up to go for Huawei services on 5G telecommunication. Moreover, to challenge Huawei’s and enter the race in 5G, Japan’s top telecommunications company is taking a $600 million stake in a leading telecoms hardware maker, seeking to build a national champion that can take business from China’s Huawei Technologies Co.
In Europe, a German judge ruled that Huawei violated European privacy law failing to comply with GDPR rules. This comes after the Chinese telecom giant has been criticized by some European countries over security concerns.
INDIA – CHINA DISPUTE OVER PRIVACY AND SECURITY CONCERNS ON MOBILE APPS
India’s government banned nearly 60 Chinese mobile apps including TikTok, amid national security concerns following accusation that Tik Tok has been sharing data with china. These accusations was denied by the Chinese company saying it “complies with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law.”
CANADA ACCUSED CHINA WITH SPYING
China has criticised Canada over comments on its prosecution of two Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor charged with spying. The two Canadians were detained after Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Vancouver. This week, Trudeau rejects calls to release Huawei executive saying that “would “imperil” Canadians abroad by opening them to potential random detention”.
DATA PROTECTION – PRIVACY
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office has released an investigation report into the use of mobile phone extraction by police forces when conducting criminal investigations in England and Wales.
In Spain, the data protection authority published, a resolution in proceedings TD/00047/2020, against Fincaminium, SL, for allegedly not having responded to a data subject’s request for the right of limitation. It also issued a resolution in proceedings PS/00122/2020 against Saunier-Tec Mantenimientos de Calor y Frio, SL. following a complaint regarding a data breach of which Saunier-Tec failed to notify the AEPD.
In Portugal, the data protection authority issued a decision on the STAYAWAY contact tracing app.
In Ukraine, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights announced its support for the establishment of a separate supervisory body for personal data protection.
In Slovenia, the Information Commissioner issued a statement establishing a mobile application aiming to inform people about contacts with those infected with COVID-19.
In Australia, the Treasurer of the Commonwealth released, a joint statement with the Minister for Energy and Emissions, announcing proposed rules that will bring the energy sector in line with the Consumer Data Right regime.
U.S.A made critics on Europe’s General Data Protection and Regulation saying it protect cybercriminals and threatens public health.
The California Attorney General, issued an alert reminding consumers of their data privacy rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 which became enforceable on 1 July 2020.
Moreover, twenty advocacy groups from the United States, Europe, Latin America and elsewhere signed a statement urging regulators to be wary of Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker company Fitbit Inc because of privacy and competition concerns.
In the US, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated Georgia State University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2025.
Congressional Cybersecurity Leaders have introduced The National Cyber Director Act to create the position of a National Cyber Director within the White House. The creation of a National Cyber Director is a major recommendation of the Solarium Commission.
In Europe, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, ENISA, has launched a month-long public consultation for the first candidate cybersecurity certification scheme.
The French data protection authority has published the national task force’s guide to combat fraud and scams during Coronavirus
In South Africa, The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has passed the Cybercrimes Bill, Civil Union Amendment Bill and the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill.
The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation announced that the Federal Law of 27 December 2019 No. 476-FZ on Amendments to the Federal Law on Electronic Signatures and Article 1 of the Federal Law on the Protection of the Rights of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs in the Implementation of State Control (Supervision) and Municipal Control had entered into force.
The World Travel & Tourism Council called for biometrics and integrated strategy to support safe air travel during COVID-19 outlining a systematic approach to using biometrics for verified identification throughout all traveller journeys without manual verifications.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) officially entered into force, replacing the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Office of Communications issued a joint statement announcing the formation of a Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum which aims to assist online services when cooperating with consumers and businesses.
CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION
A US Senate panel approved legislation aiming to combat online child exploitation. However, civil liberties activists warned the measure could lead to an array of constitutional and privacy problems.
COMPETITION – CONSUMER PROTECTION
In Europe, responses to the consultation on the digital services act have been coming from various stakeholders, including Google, Deutsche Telekom, Apple and Facebook.
UNESCO has embarked on a two-year process to elaborate the first global standard-setting instrument on ethics of artificial intelligence, following the decision of UNESCO’s General Conference at its 40th session in November 2019.
Australia initiated the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response package with AU$470 million. The objective is to boost protection and cyber resilience for all australians.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, signed an agreement on 29 June 2020 to establish an International Centre of Digital Innovation.
INTERNET OF THINGS
The International Organization for Standardization released three new standards relating to Internet of Things to establish a framework and requirements for transport interoperability in order to enable the construction of IoT systems with information exchange.
CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION
German cybercrime authorities have uncovered a massive online network of at least 30,000 people who share child pornography and exchange advice on how to abuse minors.
Brazil’s Senate approved a bill governing rules on fake news after several controversies and changes in the rapporteur’s appraisal. The bill seeks to establish rules, guidelines, and mechanisms for the transparency of network services and private messaging services over the internet, in order to discourage the abuse or manipulation of information.
Thirty-four people were arrested in Spain for attempting to fraudulently export 2,500 tonnes of e-waste to eight African countries, including Nigeria.
Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) aims to respect the January 2021 deadline to finally put an end to surcharges on mobile roaming within the zone.
The Internet Society urge african countries to follow the example of Nigeria and Kenya to offer faster and cheaper connectivity across the continent investing in internet Exchange Points.