36 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / UK

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UK's Ofcom to Enforce Lower Superfast Broadband Charges

Bottom Line: The UK government's communications regulator is planning new and better deals for 'superfast' broadband users.

Superfast fibre optic services [SFOS] now account for around 13% of all broadband connections in the United Kingdom, prompting communications regulator Ofcom to impose new measures designed to achieve better SFOS deals both for consumers and businesses. SFOS connections are usually made via fibre-optic cables, achieving speeds more than double the UK average. To encourage greater use of the technology Ofcom proposes to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2013 onward]

... shorten the minimum length of contracts and cut the costs charged by broadband providers when switching customers.

In a recent report Ofcom said upgrading from slower connections was becoming cheaper, and is increasingly popular with businesses and consumers alike.

However, the watchdog also found that switching between one superfast provider and another remains expensive.

Currently, ISPs [insternet service providers] using BT's superfast Openreach network must pay BT a £50 fee if they want to switch a customer on to their service - a charge that is frequently passed on to the customer.

Ofcom plans to slash the cost of switching from the current £50 fee to between £10 and £15. The regulator also plans to reduce the minimum contract length to one month.

According to Ofcom, the proposed measures are intended to ensure that BT's access charges for its fibre network are "fair and reasonable".

Read the original unabridged BBC.com article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6130

EU Moots Built-In Broadband for All New Houses

Bottom Line: A new European Union proposal, if approved, will require all new houses built within the EU to be equipped with an integrated  broadband system.

The draft legislation, proposed by European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes, has significant implications for the digital marketing and telecoms industries. The plan is part of the EC's strategy to extend broadband access across the EU. But there's also a downside: although making broadband installation mandatory in every new-build house would be good for consumers and internet service providers ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2014 - 2016]

 ... the deal would lock Europe into a single connective technology and has fewer benefits for the industry that will have to execute the strategy - the house builders.

Wall Street Journal blogger Anna Leach reports that the proposals draw on good practice from all over Europe, though the only country with mandatory broadband in new builds is Spain.

The new regulations will initially be submitted to the European Parliament, then to the twenty-seven individual member states — a process that normally takes around two years.

Telcos are predictably enthusiatic about the proposals. Says Tom Ruhan, chairman of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association: “The proposals to reduce the costs of deployment of fibre networks are very welcome.”

While a Vodafone spokesman said: “We welcome the Commission’s proposals which are pragmatic and urgently needed.”

The benefit to telcos is estimated by the EC to be €40-60 billion – the amount the Commission expects them to save as the new regulation reduces their civil engineering costs by 30%.

As a secondary benefit, European telcos will also efforlessly acquire hundreds of thousands of new customers.

Read the original unabridged WSJ.com article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6063

EU Warns Citizens of US Privacy Invasion Threat

Bottom Line: A study commissioned by the European Union warns that US authorities could use a Federal Act to access European users' data stored on US-based social media sites.

Although the US Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Amendments Act [FISA], renewed late last month, does not apply outside the USA, the European Union has warned its citizens that US authorities could use the Act to access European users' data stored on US-based servers - for example Facebook and other US-located social media sites. A study commissioned by the EU found that ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward]

... EU citizens' data stored on US servers is not protected from access by a third party.

According to a report commissioned by the EU and carried out by the Centre for European Policy Studies, America's so-called Patriot Act gives US authorities the legal right to access foreign citizens' data stored within US borders.

Commenting on the report, European Parliament member Jan Philipp Albrecht insists that "this study is absolutely not about generating panic." 

According to Mr Albrecht, most users don't even know where their data is stored. 

"It's a simple fact that the US data protection law only applies to US citizens." "But there are special laws that target the surveillance of non-US citizens", he added.

"This happens when sensitive data from big companies, like Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, are made available to US authorities for investigations." 

Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner for the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein is also concerned at the power wielded by the US over EU citizens' data.

Mr Weichert has been following the implications of this development closely for more than two years, while pushing Facebook to allow its users to remain anonymous.

"The long arm of US law stretches as far as Europe," he said.

Read the original unabridged Deutche Welle article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW.de
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6016

EU Mulls Control of Social Sites' Use of Member Data

Bottom Line: European lawmakers are mulling legislation that could restrict social sites such as Facebook and Google from using members' data for advertising purposes

Says the bill's German sponsor, Jan Philipp Albrecht, a member of the European Parliament: "Users must be informed about what happens with their data. And they must be able to consciously agree to data processing - or reject it." Albrecht, a member of the Green Party, this week announced plans to ensure that users of social networks and search engines are able to control ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward]

... how much, if any, of their data is sold to advertisers.

The legislation, if implemented, could have serious financial repercussions for the web's two social network titans, FaceBook and Google+. Both are expected to vigorously resist any such limitations on their monetisation models. 

Reuters claims to have seen a report produced by Mr Albrecht which adds even sharper teeth to a proposal for more rigorous data protection, as announced by the European Commission in January 2012.

Albrecht and other EU lawmakers want to limit companies' ability to use and sell data, such as internet browsing habits, to advertising companies, especially when people are unaware their data is being used in such a way.

Facebook and Google, who were among the first to profit from users' data, have been lobbying against the curbs. Other data-reliant sectors such as health services, rail and smart-meter makers have also voiced concerns.

The European Parliament, the Commission and the bloc's twenty-seven member nations will seek an agreement on the new rules in coming months.

Says Erika Mann, Facebook's head of EU policy: "We are concerned that some aspects of the report do not support a flourishing European digital single market and the reality of innovation on the internet. The digital market is inescapably global in nature, and includes important partners in the United States."

Ms Mann did not elaborate on the precise implications of her statement.

Read the original unabridged Reuters.com article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Reuters.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6005

Banking: 'Worst May Still be Ahead', BoE Chief Warns

Bottom Line: The Bank of England's deputy governor has warned leading bankers that the "worst may still be ahead" for the UK banking system. And - by extension - for marketers and the overall UK economy.

Speaking last week at the British Bankers' Association annual conference in London, the Bank of England's deputy-governor Paul Tucker shocked his sleek audience by suggesting that they be "paid in debt" to ensure they had a vested interest in their bank's failure or success. Pouring fuel on the flames, Mr Tucker also urged that ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 onward ]

... the nation's banks be allowed to fail in an orderly way. 

This should be done without taxpayer support, he said. Such a strategy would also make it easier for new, smaller entrants to the banking sector and encourage competition in a UK market dominated by a handful of massive institutions.

According to Mr Tucker - a candidate for the BoE governorship - the most important issue ahead is to ensure that banks are allowed to fail in an orderly way. He also cautioned that the "worst may still be ahead" for the banking system.

Still in downbeat mode, the deputy-governor warned that the reserves held by banks are still not calibrated for the "end-of-the-world risks" that remain a possibility.

Another eminent speaker, Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and author of banking reforms in the US, voiced scepticism about plans in the UK to ring-fence banks' retail operations from their investment banking operations.

Read the original unabridged BBC article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5953

EU Mulls Mandatory Fitting of Emergency eDevice to New Cars

Bottom Line: If a proposal adopted this week by the European Parliament becomes law all new cars within the EU will be required to fit a device that automatically alerts emergency services in the event of a crash - the implications of which could modify auto marketing strategy.

The technology, known as eCall, would automatically dial European emergency number 112 if a car crashes, enabling rescue services to arrive faster, saving up to 2,500 lives annually and reducing the severity of injuries by 10% to 15%. So claims the European Parliament in its request to the European Commission to make fitting of the eCall device mandatory. If enshrined in law, the implications for marketers could be ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward]

... extensive, boosting emphasis on safety and technology factors in the marketing of new auto models.

Calls to the new service could be triggered by on-board sensors such as those in the airbag detecting a crash, or by any car occupant pushing a button.

The eCall system will also use satellites and mobile telephony caller location to determine the location of the crashed car. Based on the location, eCall will contact the nearest emergency centre, also transmitting a minimum dataset that includes time, the direction in which the vehicle was travelling, vehicle identification, an indication if eCall was automatically or manually triggered and information about a possible service provider.

Sending the extra data is likely to reduce misunderstanding and stress and helps to eliminate language barriers between the vehicle occupants and the operator, said a Parliament news release.

And in a reassuring nod to data protection actives, Parliament has also decreed that the system must not be used to monitor a person's movements or determine his or her location unless that person has been involved in an accident.

Read the original unabridged article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: PCWorld.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5869

European Commission to Support 'Right to be Forgotten' Data Law

Bottom Line: In the light of the Eurozone's current economic debacle, the European Commission's concern over online privacy issues seems akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burned! Nonetheless, the issue exemplifies public demand for consumer protection against privacy abuses by online marketers

European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, addressing the second Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference in Brussels yesterday, told delegates: "People are sharing more and more personal information online and it is now important to ensure their rights. For this reason ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... "the reform of EU data protection rules will include easier access to one’s own data, and better data portability so that it is simple for users to transfer their data between providers.

"I also want to establish the famous right to be forgotten, which will build on existing rules to better cope with privacy risks online. I believe this right is very important in a world of increasing connectivity and unlimited search and storage.

"If users no longer want their data to be stored, and if there is no good reason to keep it online anymore, the data should be removed."

Ms Reding's words were not exactly music to the ears of the direct marketing industry which is concerned at the ambiguity of the term "the right to be forgotten" and what exactly it involves?

Caroline Roberts, director of legal and public affairs at the DMA (UK), which has been engaged in the consultation process for the proposed revisions to the directive, is not enthused at the Commissioner's statement.

"While consumers need to be protected by the right to not be contacted for marketing purposes by companies, eradicating their entire data is completely impractical because it prevents companies from meeting their legal obligations to suppress their data if they [the data subjects] choose to opt out."

The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK data protection watchdog, believes the proposed EU framework "should not introduce a standalone right to be forgotten, which could mislead individuals and falsely raise their expectations, and be impossible to implement and enforce in practice".

The European Commission’s proposals for the new legislation are due to be published at the end of January although - given the bloc's labyrinthine decision-making process - observers believe enactment of the process may take considerably longer.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BrandRepublic.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5727

EU to Enforce Clearer Online Shopping Price Transparency

Bottom Line: The rights of European consumers shopping online will be strengthened by new legislation agreeed earlier this week by the EU's Council of Ministers.

Following European ministers' green-lighting of a new law proposed in June this year, the trade bloc's twenty-seven member nations have been given a two-year period of grace in which to pass domestic legislation enforcing new rules governing online shopping. The key benefit to consumers will be the prohibition of internet ads that ...


[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011- 2013]

... attempt to sell additional pre-selected services. When buying a plane ticket for example, consumers are frequently presented with pre-ticked boxes offering add-on services such as travel insurance or car rental. Currently the onus to untick the box lies with the consumer. Come 2013, however, it will be mandatory for websites to present only unticked choice boxes.

Following the new legislation, online customers can refuse to pay if they were not adequately informed prior to the purchase.

Additionally the new laws will reqire a website to make clear any "[information] about its compatibility with hardware and software and the application of any technical protection measures.

For example, "limiting the right for the consumers to make copies of the content," and that "consumers will have a right to withdraw from purchases of digital content, such as music or video downloads, but only up until the moment the actual downloading process begins."

European consumer groups and digital rights groups have hailed the new legislation.

Says Joe McNamee, head of Brussells-based online advocacy group European Digital Rights: "I think that it is probably a helpful small step in the right direction.

"Even certain otherwise reputable companies use some quite underhand tactics through 'imaginative' use of default checks in checkboxes on their websites (such as changing back to the default 'opt-in' if the user has to go back and change anything on a form).

"These companies, at least, will be forced to adopt more transparent policies by the legislation."



All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW-World.de
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5687

Up to Twenty UK Local TV Stations to be Operational by 2015

Bottom Line: The UK government plans to license the first local TV stations by summer 2012, with the first ten to twenty franchises operational by 2015.

Local terrestrial TV, commonplace in the USA but relatively rare elsewhere, will hit the UK next year in up to twenty, as yet unannounced, British towns or cities, with a nationwide rollout across sixty-five urban areas scheduled for completion by 2015. In terms of coverage, however, there are many anomalies ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012-2015]

... with residents of three of the UK's biggest UK cities – Bradford, Leicester and Coventry – excluded from local TV coverage.

Likewise other sizeable towns including Hull, Wolverhampton and Portsmouth will lose out. Smaller towns including Derby, Peterborough, Canterbury, Worcester, Durham, Chester and Exeter will also be ineligible.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary at the  the government's risibly titled Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has published a map of the sixty-five provisionally selected locations and has invited each to make a case as to why their town or city should be one of the first to bid for a local TV licences.

Hunt intends to hold meetings to discuss the issues and benefits of local TV in six cities.

"These new, local TV services will be a fundamental change in how people get information about their own communities, and how they hold their representatives to account," said the DMS secretary. "There's a huge appetite for local news and information in communities the length and breadth of the country. We need to decide which areas are best placed to pioneer the new service."

Others, however, see the move as a further nail in the coffin of local newspapers and a threat to the viability of local commercial radio.

Up to £25m in local TV infrastructure costs will be met from the BBC licence fee, with a further £5m of licence fee money spent annually for three years on local content. None of the published statements to date make reference to advertising and whether or not it will be permitted.

Electronic programme guide providers such as Freeview, BSkyB and Virgin Media will be required to give "appropriate prominence" to licensed local digital TV services, enforced through Ofcom statutory code -- a measure that will require secondary legislation.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Guardian.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5650

Web Safety: ISP Introduces Server-Side Website Blocking Facility

Malware-planting websites and "adult content" venues have been fixed in the crosswires of UK internet service provider TalkTalk. Claiming a world 'first', TalkTalk offers subscribers HomeSafe, a server-level screening facility that recognises and blocks unsuitable websites -- be they sexually explicit or malware-conveyors. There's nothing new, of course, about site or software-blocking - but until now these operated only if installed on users' PCs.  Whether the server-side service will catch on remains to be seen and some security professionals question the system's efficacy, suggesting it may not ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward ]

... react sufficiently swiftly to counter new threats.

TalkTalk's HomeSafe runs on the company's central computer system and sits between the web and individual home connections. Its anti-malware defences work by scanning a site to check if it harbours malicious programs. Those found to be 'clean' will be put on a "white list" for 24 hours.

A spokesman for TalkTalk said that the system is discriminating enough to block individual adverts on web pages that are booby-trapped with malware but would still let a user interact with the rest of that page.

To ensure system functionality, TalkTalk has to scan all websites that its users visit. However the company said that it does not record details that could identify individual customers, such as their IP address.

TalkTalk claims its service is able to differentiate between sites that are wholly about a subject and those that merely mention that subject, citing as an example parents who block sites that promote self harm -- but who might be happy for their children to visit sites that educate about the issue.

According to a TalkTalk spokesman, the filters are not intended intended as a cure-all. "This is the most robust system that's available but what it's not is a substitute for good parenting."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5564

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