Commenting on the new requirements, the Commissioner stated “I am pleased that the Minister has introduced new legal requirements which recognise that the challenges to the maintenance of individual privacy are becoming increasingly complex in today’s electronic age. Individuals must be able to enjoy the benefits of new technology while at the same time remaining in control of their privacy. These new requirements give individuals new rights which my Office will enforce.
I particularly welcome the fact that the Minister has responded to public concern over data breach incidents by introducing strict requirements for service providers in this area with the ability for my Office to bring prosecutions where such requirements are not followed. I am also pleased that individuals can no longer be bothered on their mobile phones by direct marketers unless they have given their prior agreement.”
The main new requirements are:
- Compulsory notification of individuals and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in the case of data breaches
- More stringent requirements for user consent for the placing of “cookies” on electronic devices
- Stricter requirements for the sending of electronic marketing messages and the making of marketing phone calls
All telecommunications companies and internet service providers are now required to notify the Data Protection Commissioner of every data breach involving a subscriber. They are also required to notify customers in all cases where there is a risk their data may be accessed. Failure to do so can lead to prosecution by the Commissioner with a fine of up to €5,000 per instance. The Commissioner can also for the first time prosecute companies in this area for allowing a data breach with fines on indictment of up to €250,000.
Any company or website placing information, usually by way of what is known as a cookie, on user equipment (computer, smartphone etc) must provide appropriate information to the user and collect their consent except in limited circumstances where the cookie is strictly necessary for the provision of the service in question. In practice this means that websites placing cookies on user equipment that are not deleted when the user leaves their website must identify a means of obtaining user consent.
Electronic Marketing & Phonecalls
In a strengthening of the laws in this area, it is now an offence for any company or entity to phone a person on their mobile phone for a marketing purpose without having obtained their prior consent for such contact. The requirements now extend to all forms of marketing carried out by means of a publicly available electronic communications service – including, for example, the soliciting of support for charitable organisations or political parties.
Speaking on Monday morning at the launch of Age Action Ireland’s new computer training facility in Lower Abbey Street Minister Rabbitte said “I have decided to increase the resources originally earmarked for this scheme. I believe in investing in what works. Research by my Department has shown that the investment we have made in similar schemes – working with the community & voluntary sector to deliver the training – delivers effectively on our objectives.
“This scheme will enable thousands of people throughout Ireland – people otherwise likely to be left behind in the knowledge society – to acquire the basic practical know-how to improve their digital skills. In particular this will help older people, those with disabilities, the unemployed and other key target groups. They will learn to use the internet, email and how to conduct simple on-line transactions.
“Previous schemes show that learning such basic skills helps people in many ways – giving them new communication options, new opportunities to save money, as well as better access to a wide range of on-line services. We have also seen how such new skills and the opportunities that result from them improve people’s confidence and wellbeing. More widespread participation in the knowledge society is a win-win outcome – with advantages for citizens, government and the wider economy.”
There are a range of initiatives operating in Ireland which are helping to achieve more widespread digital inclusion. Amongst these are basic skills measures such as Age Action Ireland’s Getting Started programme, the Log on Learninitiative, BT’s Connected communities initiative, Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) Digitise the Nation as well as other initiatives currently being developed. Some approaches focus on particular sectors (e.g. the work being done by ENCLUDE to transform the operations of charity organisations). Digital inclusion is also relevant to small businesses. A number of initiatives are currently focusing on developing the potential of SMEs to improve their on-line capabilities. These include the Getting Irish Business On-line initiative from Google as well as a pilot initiative – WebActivate.
Details of the scheme are available at www.eInclusion.ie
The conference will bring together Irish talent and world class leaders in the Python community for a fun, informative and friendly event. Saturday will consist of tutorials, workshops, open-spaces and talks. Sunday sprints will bring Python developers together for coding sessions on various projects. Standard price of admission is €60pp. Student price of admission is €40pp (limited time only). An early bird is available for €50pp (limited time only). On the door admission will be €70pp, space permitting. More information can be found at http://www.python.ie/pyconireland.
Python is an open-source, dynamically typed, object-oriented programming language that can be used in nearly the entire range of technology applications. It offers an easy learning curve and access to a vast array of libraries. With implementations available for all common operating systems as well as the Java and .NET platforms, Python can be used on virtually any system in existence. Python’s power and versatility have made it one of the world’s most popular programming languages. Like other open-source, dynamic languages, it offers rapid productivity and a vigorous developer community; at the same time, Python’s clarity and reliability give confidence to enterprise users. About Python Ireland Python Ireland is a user group who meets up on the second Wednesday of each month for events such as talks, unconferences and informal social gatherings.
Additional information about Python Ireland is available at python.ie.
Vicky Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To book your place to this free event, click here.
To see more information, click here to see the e- flyer.
Ever ask yourself?
- Where’s my nearest blue flag beach?
- How much water does my house consume?
- What senior citizen supports are in my area?
- Is there a route safe enough for my children to cycle to their school?
If you answer yes to any of these questions and you are interested in developing ideas and/or creating new businesses Ireland’s First Open Data 18-hr Challenge is for you!
Open Data is part of a new wave of governance. Public data is being released across the world, with the aim to inform citizens, stimulate new economic activity, innovation and competition, and foster cultures of openness whereby governments are more responsive and accountable to their citizens.
When and Where:
When: 4-5 July 2011
Where: NDRC, Crane St, Digital Hub, Dublin 8
Monday 4 July
Tuesday 5 July
The Open Data Challenge is brought to you by NDRC’s Inventorium in partnership with Microsoft, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Irish Internet Association (IIA) and Microsoft, Ireland.
NDRC’s LaunchPad accelerator programme is open for applications. If you have an idea for a digital start up apply now.
Teachers may be interested in this workshop at the DCU Diverse 2011 conference. Inventorium’s own Martin Owen will be facilitating.
Leading internet consultancy AMAS (www.amas.ie) has a vacancy for a Researcher. AMAS provides digital strategy, research, content, marketing and related services to corporate, public sector, professional services and high-potential clients
AMAS is the publisher of State of the Net, the quarterly bulletin on online trends. In 2009, AMAS initiated and funded the Ideas Campaign (www.ideascampaign.ie) the independent citizens’ initiative for Irish economic renewal and recovery.
The successful candidate will work under the direction of AMAS directors and senior staff and will fulfil a range of research tasks such as:
- Helping to plan and scope the research requirements of different client projects
- Planning and assisting in fulfilling the audience research elements of client projects, using a range of different methodologies (such as surveys, interviews, focus groups and user testing)
- Conducting sectoral or competitive analyses as well as gathering and analysing relevant online marketing data (in areas such as search, localisation, social media, mobile and email)
- Distilling and analysing data on the performance of client websites and other channels, using analytics software, other tools and different methodologies
- Researching and providing recommendations on site technologies and solutions for search, email, social media and other forms of online marketing
- Providing inputs into key strategic recommendations and the creation of project outputs, such as reports, presentations, guidelines and action lists
- Providing hands-on support to clients in the execution of the recommendations
- Conducting primary research and collating the inputs for State of the Net, as well as contributing to the AMAS blog and our Twitter stream (@AMASinternet)
- Be passionate about the internet and be active across social media on a personal and possibly a professional basis
- Preferably have a relevant third level qualification such as online marketing, eCommerce or general marketing, communications or PR
- Have experience of conducting similar research tasks for an existing or previous employer and/or as part of a third level or other educational programme
- · Be highly analytical and demonstrate keen attention to detail and the ability to work effectively across multiple projects
- Be familiar with online marketing tools and technologies
- Preferably have experience of devising and implementing online marketing campaigns (search, social media, email, for instance) using a blend of different channels and tools, in either a professional or personal capacity
- Have excellent client liaison, project management, and communications skills
AMAS would like to hear from candidates currently working in online marketing or research roles, as well as from “career changers” and recent graduates. While having a preference for a candidate with relevant experience who can make an immediate contribution to fulfilling project requirements, we are open to recruiting an individual who can demonstrate enthusiasm and an ability to add value within a short timeframe to client projects. We are committed to providing both formal and informal training to the successful candidate.
Please apply by submitting a brief letter outlining why you believe you are suitable for this role (by reference to the role description and the candidate requirements) along with your CV to email@example.com by 4pm on Friday 24 June.
Faster Broadband to More Places, Quicker! – Government convenes CEO Taskforce on High Speed Broadband Rollout
The Next Generational Broadband Taskforce (NGBT) comprises the CEOs of all of the major telecommunications companies currently operating in the Irish market and CEOs of some Internet Service Provider companies. Its purpose is to discuss how best to deliver the optimal policy environment and to identify a roadmap for the speedy delivery of high speed broadband across Ireland. The Minsters are also keen to accelerate private sector investment in this area of critical importance to economic and social development.
Outlining the aims of the group, Minister Rabbitte said “Delivery of high speed broadband to all parts of Ireland is an essential Government priority. It will underpin economic growth and recovery, as well as providing important dividends in terms of education, health and other social benefits. I am confident that we will see rapid progress. Industry is already investing heavily in this area in Ireland, and our aim is to accelerate this investment. We want to encourage companies to work collaboratively across the sector to maximise the roll out of Next Generation infrastructure without compromising the competition that is so vital for innovation. We also want tease out how the State can support industry delivery without cutting across their investment plans”.
The Taskforce will consider issues such as appropriate targets, investment plans, and the role of Government policy and actions in driving and facilitating investment.
Minister O’Dowd, who has responsibility in relation to the Government’s NewERA plan, said “delivery of high speed broadband throughout Ireland is a key commitment under the Government’s NewERA programme, and will contribute to maintaining jobs and economic recovery by creating the necessary infrastructure to support enterprise investment. The work of the Task force will critically inform how best to deliver on this important policy imperative”.
Both Ministers noted that under the Digital Agenda for Europe, the European Commission has set targets of 30mbps broadband to all citizens and 50% of citizens subscribing to 100mbps by 2020. It also commits to universal broadband provision by 2013. The Government funded National and Rural Broadband Schemes are already delivering on this latter objective. The Ministers emphasised that Government policy is now firmly focussed on the delivery of much faster broadband to all regions in Ireland.
A key focus of Ministers’ discussions with industry will be whether the 2020 targets can be delivered earlier, to develop an ambitious roadmap for high speed broadband in Ireland, and what measures can be collectively and individually taken to deliver on that roadmap.
It is intended that the Taskforce will conclude its work by March 2012.
List of Members of the Next Generational Broadband Task Force
Mr. Pat Rabbitte, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources
Mr. Fergus O’Dowd, TD, Minister of State
Ms. Dana Strong, UPC
Mr. Stephen Shurrock, O2
Mr. Paul Donovan, eircom
Mr. Colm Piercy, Digiweb
Mr. Graham Sutherland, BT
Mr. Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone
Mr. Robert Finnegan, “3”
Mr. John Shine, ESB
Mr. Sean Bolger, Imagine
Mr. Conal Henry, e|net
Mr. Aidan Dunning, Secretary General, DCENR
Ms. Katherine Licken, Assistant Secretary
Data Protection Commissioner launches his Annual Report for 2010 including special investigation on insurance data
Insurance Link Claims Database
The Commissioner is publishing the findings of the most wide ranging investigation yet undertaken by his Office of a database of personal data kept by the insurance sector known as Insurance Link. This is a shared claims database that allows member organisations to share and cross-reference their insurance claims data. At the time of the investigation it contained details of almost two and a half million claims. The investigation identified a major lack of transparency with regard to Insurance Link and that far too many individuals in insurance companies and other entities had access to the database with little or no oversight of that access. Some serious incidents of inappropriate access were identified and are listed in the report.
Data Security Breaches
The Commissioner reports on his publication of a data security breach Code of Practice. This was one of the recommendations of a Working Group set up by the previous Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform which also recommended a strengthening of our data protection laws to provide for penalties for serious breaches. The Code focuses on informing the people affected by security breaches so that they can take appropriate measures to protect themselves. It alsoencourages organisations to voluntarily report incidents to the Commissioner’s Office. 410 data security breach incidents were reported to the Office in 2010, a 350% increase on the number of reports received in the previous 12 months (there were 119 reports in 2009). This large increase in reporting is a consequence of the more exacting demands of the Code of Practice. The Commissioner reports on serious data security breach incidents that occurred in 2010 involving the GAA and SelfCatering.ie (see pages 77 and 79 of the Report). The report also includes details of an ongoing investigation of a breach affecting personal data held by the Department of Social Protection.
Data Sharing in the Public Sector
The Commissioner is publishing a set of guidelines for public sector agencies that wish to share personal data in the public interest – for example, to prevent tax evasion and other types of fraud. Transparency and proportionality are the key guiding principles. The sharing should be explicitly provided for by law. The public sector customer should know what personal data may be shared. The extent of sharing should be limited to what is necessary to achieve the public interest objective. The disclosed data should benefit from a high level of security and be securely destroyed when no longer needed.
The deployment and use of CCTV continues to give rise to complaints from members of the public. Investigations regarding the use of CCTV systems in schools, workplaces and in a small village, Culfadda in Sligo are detailed.
The report outlines concerns which arose following audits of charities. The report also provides information on positive engagements with the National Board for Safeguarding Children and the Catholic Church, the HSE in relation to its child welfare work in Limerick City and the Irish Council for General Practitioners.
The Commissioner’s report includes case studies of a number of investigations including:
· Prosecution of Ice Communications Ltd. for failing to comply with legal notices;
· Prosecution of three companies (Free Spirit Hair & Beauty Salon Ltd, Crunch Fitness Ltd and The Black Dog Communications Ltd) for sending marketing text messages;
- Prosecution of Fairco Ltd and Pure Telecom for calling numbers listed on the NDD opt-out register;
- Prosecution of Tesco for email marketing;
- Prosecution of UPC for offences related to unsolicited marketing phone calls;
- Deployment of biometric systems by commercial service providers and schools;
- Use of vehicle tracking systems
- Disclosure of previous defence force career information by the Defence Forces
- Disclosure of personal data by a housing association to a debt collection agent.
Note: The Annual Report is available for download in PDF format from the Data Protection Commissioner’s website: www.dataprotection.ie
The IT was developed at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded CSET (Centre for Science, Technology and Engineering) DERI in the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway.
The web standard, Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC), is a way of incorporating data into websites and blogs for example that makes it easier to connect online communities and internet-based discussions.
Commenting on the visit today (23 May 2011) of President Obama, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government, Professor Patrick Cunningham spoke of ‘the great relationship between the US and Ireland in science.’
‘Ireland has a great reputation of a place to do good science and examples such as the IT developed in Galway and adopted by President Obama’s Administration is an endorsement of the calibre of Irish science.’
In 2012, Europe’s largest science event, ESOF 2012 (Euroscience Open Forum) is coming to Dublin.
Professor Cunningham, who is also Chair of ESOF 2012 went on to speak of ‘the great history of US and Irish science collaboration and to honour this, one of the major themes in ESOF 2012, Europe’s largest science event which is coming to Dublin next year, will be The Atlantic – a shared resource.
‘This aspect of the conference is a joint US-ESOF partnership programme in which eminent scientists from the US and Europe will come together in July next year in Dublin to discuss the critical aspects of this great shared resource.’
This is a review of last week’s Annual Conference by Mark Rodgers of Cipherion Translations. Mark is also chair of the IIA Internation Working Group. This review was originally published on his own blog and he very nicely (cos he’s a very nice chap) allowed us to republish it here. Thanks Mark!
IIA Annual Conference: Open Data, Cloud Computing and the Future for Irish Entrepreneurs
Cloud Computing and Open Data
A tech-conference in Dublin these days is not a conference without an appearance by Josh Holmes – Microsoft’s evangelist. And Josh didn’t disappoint either, with some wonderful insights into deep fried mars bars and other Arkansas delicacies. Tech-details aside, the convergence of cloud computing and open data is starting to show signs of becoming a reality, well done to IIA for showcasing the strategic nature of this convergence. Check out our thoughts on m-cloud.
Future for Irish Entrepreneurs – a European Content Hub?
The final panel discussion really started to spark the imagination. Neil Leyden, joint-winner of “Your Country, Your Call”, outlined his fantastic ideas and visions for an Irish Content Services Centre (ICSC) here in Dublin. In short, it’s the IFSC Part II.
However, instead of funds, Neil suggests that we focus on our unique position and ability to play a central role in Content distribution to the European market – and beyond. Disney (www.disney.com) , EA (www.ea.com) , Sony (www.sony.com) etc could all be invited to set up European “content” centres here in Ireland.
Constantin Gurdgiev loved the opportunity to speak publicly and not mention the words “bailout” or “crisis”! Instead he focused on the opportunities for organisations to develop new technologies, not based on a defined and known market, but more along the lines of: build it, go to market and try and sell it, take on customer feedback, modify the product or service and go to market again. The future is un-known, as soon as you do market research, it’s out of date!
This is real entrepreneurship – heading into the future, not certain of where or how you’ll get there but knowing that you have the people, tools, resources and abilities to get there. With a sprinkling of deep fried “self-belief”, as Josh might say.
So instead of spending your €1million of investment in technology, spend €250k on the sales channel and sales person… and spend the next €500k on upgrading and improving. “K”s can also be dropped above ; – ). A bit like the Japanese Kaizen approach.
This approach ties in very nicely to a current LinkedIN debate in the Irish Software Association group on how tech start-ups can find the right sales people. What’s emerging is that IRELAND INC, as a collaborative community, could be doing a better job at supplying already existing information and / or contacts and networks to our entrepreneurs – so that they are better equipped to face into what is ahead. Perhaps Michael Gerber’s “E-myth” be made mandatory reading before anyone sets up a business. In reading the book it becomes clear:
- Most businesses are set up by folks who know the “technology”, myself included.
- The more successful they get, the busier they become in delivering product / service
- This leaves a gap in the business: Who’s going to sell my services
- Sometimes this realisation comes too late: the business goes under
- Successful entrepreneurs either delegate the technical aspects or hire a great sales person
- All businesses are the same; all entrepreneurs are the same – only with different challenges.
- So let’s just recognise the problem, consult others to see if it’s valid, and change our approach.
In Ireland, there are ever more green shoots appearing. The harvest is still some time away.
However those that are just starting along the road to global success can learn from those who are one step ahead, those that are one step ahead can give back to those that are just starting. Just check the newspapers last weekend, the Turley brothers netted €80m for the sale of their business CarTrawler. One of the brothers was in sales, one was in operations – it works!