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Should adverts for social casino games be covered by gambling regulations?

Should adverts for social casino games be covered by gambling regulations?

Social casino gaming, which simulates gambling games on a social platform such as Facebook, is a nascent but rapidly growing industry — social casino game revenues grew 97 percent between 2012 and 2013, with a USD$3.5 billion market size by the end of 2015. Unlike gambling played for real money, social casino games generally have […]

New Voluntary Code: Guidance for Sharing Data Between Organisations

Many organisations are coming up with their own internal policy and guidelines for data sharing. However, for data sharing between organisations to be straight forward, there needs to a common understanding of basic policy and practice. During her time as an OII Visiting Associate, Alison Holt developed a pragmatic solution in the form of a Voluntary […]

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Does a market-approach to online privacy protection result in better protection for users?

While prior studies have focused on what’s written in privacy policy statements, systematic attention on the interactive aspects of the Web have been scant. Yong Jin Park (Howard University) discusses his article published in Policy & Internet: A Broken System of Self-Regulation of Privacy Online? Surveillance, Control, and Limits of User Features in U.S. Websites. His analysis, based on a sample of 398 commercial sites in the US, shows that more popular sites did not necessarily provide better privacy control features for users than sites that were randomly selected.

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Will digital innovation disintermediate banking — and can regulatory frameworks keep up?

Many of Europe’s economies are hampered by a waning number of innovations, partially attributable to the European financial system’s aversion to funding innovative enterprises and initiatives. Pēteris Zilgalvis discusses his recent Policy & Internet article The Need for an Innovation Principle in Regulatory Impact Assessment: The Case of Finance and Innovation in Europe (2014 6,4), which argues for the adoption of an “innovation principle” in regulatory impact assessment that prioritizes regulatory approaches that serve to promote innovation.

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Designing Internet technologies for the public good

The ongoing development of computing, communications and storage technologies presents a challenge to privacy protection, given the increasing ease with which personal data can be collected, analysed, stored, and shared. OII Professor Ian Brown discusses how “privacy by design” techniques such as data minimisation can provide a template for societies that wish to ensure the continued protection of core social values in an increasingly technology-mediated world. Full article: Keeping our secrets? Designing Internet technologies for the public good.

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The complicated relationship between Chinese Internet users and their government

The Chinese government has been incredibly successful and sophisticated in the way it has established control over the Internet in China, both over web content and public discourses about the Internet’s function in Chinese society. David Herold (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) discusses the results of a research project into how students in Shanghai talk about the Internet, arguing that even when criticising government controls and censorship, they do not genuinely challenge the status quo, but accept it as unavoidable and without alternatives.

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Staying free in a world of persuasive technologies

Technologies are increasingly being designed to change the way we think and behave. While there has been excitement recently about designing information environments to ‘nudge’ us into beneficial behaviours, are we giving enough attention to their implications for individual freedom and autonomy? When does a ‘nudge’ become a ‘push’? OII DPhil student James Williams is developing a set of ethical principles for the design of persuasive technologies.

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Is China changing the Internet, or is the Internet changing China?

The global shift in the population of Internet users from North America and Europe to ’emerging’ nations such as China, is one of the most dynamic social factors promising to shape Internet policy and practice in the coming years. Will the Internet remain free and global, or become increasingly controlled and fragmented by national boundaries? The OII’s William Dutton, co-convenor of the ICA preconference “China and the New Internet World” discusses the top-line questions that informed the discussions.

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How effective is online blocking of illegal child sexual content?

Blocking of ‘illegal’ websites and online content keeps raising questions in many countries. Karel Demeyer, Eva Lievens and Jos Dumortier discuss the inefficiencies and legal perils of website blocking in their Policy and Internet paper: Blocking and Removing Illegal Child Sexual Content: Analysis from a Technical and Legal Perspective. They find that blocking is a technically ineffective means of stopping the distribution of child pornography, and that it risks ‘mission creep’ if blocking measures are extended to sites that violate other laws, such as copyright or gambling.

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Time for debate about the societal impact of the Internet of Things

Despite the growing ubiquity and connectivity of the consumer devices and other objects that make up the “Internet of Things”, very little is understood about the likely social impacts of the technology. Jeremy Crump is chair of the BCS Internet of Things working group and a Director at Cisco Systems. In February 2013 he chaired a joint BCS-OII seminar on the societal impact of the Internet of Things with Ian Brown (OII); a summary of the contributions is published on the BCS website.

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