With 10-20% of personal daily activity now digitally tracked across mobile devices and a possible further 20 to 30% of daily work and social activities using or being tracked by general monitoring and surveillance or "logged into by networks" , this represents potentially 50% of a personal privacy and location information being "out there" and being used by companies either freely or unknown to the customer.
Welcome to the "digital economy" which has many conveniences but at what price?
The gap between American and European legislation on privacy is at breaking point; the Snowdon revelations compounded by the fundamental differences in privacy rights of citizen, while both enshrined in personal liberty has been severely tested by government and commercial practices out of touch with local country economic sensibilities. It may be no bad thing in the long run as the issue of "free" data use and personal ownership seem to have been lost is the dash for "digital markets territory land grab" and social networking connections. Concern over consumer needs seem to have been a "double edged" temptation for internet companies seeking to build their own supplier markets but tempted by the overwhelming reveal of buyer habits and easy data access. This in turn has been a gold mine for intelligence agencies and security breaches alike, leaving the consumer protection laws and personal choice as something that customers are now just waking up to.
There certainly need to be something that is balancing local citizen personal rights with the large internet companies that often are not from those countries providing a "defacto mandate" that seems stacked in their favour to use your persona data. If the EU put conditions on that assumed right then it may help redefine what is personal property in the digital world that is both physically unseen and questionably who's data is it anyway?
"Let's be clear on commercial rights for both consumers and suppliers , not just suppliers"
The digital economy is growing a 20-30% in many sectors, the power of the all reaching internet I think will survive these changes even if there are stricter controls on data, the benefits of searching and online markets is out there and driving huge economic growth. But the basis for commercial rights seem to be a balance between what is "consented rights" for use of personal data and the visibility to know the difference. Just because its hidden and "taken care of" by a provider does not automatically transfer rights to them to use that data surely? I hope the EU legislation preserves the power of the digital world but also encourages better visibility and a new era of digital data providers that understand the difference and deliver the choice.