Information Law Ron Galea Cavallazzi
Overview: What is Information? Technology and Information Information as an Asset Regulation of Information
What is Information? In its simplest expression, information is equated to a physical or digital data set, embodied in such familiar forms as books, documents, software files, articles etc. Data becomes information only when a sentient human makes sense of it in some context. Two people may make different use of exactly the same data, even when sharing the same need or performing the same task.
Information “…a broad and encompassing term which is not limited to mere data, but also incorporates knowledge, namely, data processed with a texture of acquired assets deriving from concepts, values, symbols, presumptions, analogies, experience, and beliefs…” Eli Lederman Protected Frameworks of Information in Criminal Law
Technology and Information Information remained the same Change in medium Storage capacity Access times Speed of transfer / facilitated flow Cross-border presence Remote storage / Cloud
Information: Perils False Information Unauthorised access Illegal/harmful information Piracy Personal information
Information: A New Asset Class Information has always been valuable, but it was not considered an asset in a proper economic sense. It has been said that as the politics of oil shaped the 20th century; so the politics of data is shaping the 21st century digital economy. Facebook’s initial public offering with the social networking website valued at $104bn. Targeted advertising: tracking of a user activities online in order to deliver advertising targeted to the individual’s interests Consumer gets ‘free’ access to the networking service
Information in the Digital Age Focus will be on the control, by users, of their data: “Personal data is the currency of today’s digital market. And like any currency, it needs stability and trust.” Viviane Reding VC of the European Commission Do users have the right to be ‘forgotten’?
Information Regulation A balance of rights and obligations Reduces Risks Protection within limits of recognised interests and values Public law Civil law Criminal law
Balancing Rights and Obligations We want to express ourselves We want to limit information about us in the public domain We want control over information that can have a detrimental impact on matters such as - The security of the state - Sensitive commercial interests We want to protect information – particularly in a digital format - that is protected by intellectual property laws We want control over information that can cause us harm
Fundamental Human Rights Article 41 Constitution “Except with his own consent or by way of parental discipline, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence”
Freedom of Expression: Limitations Article 41(2) of the Constitution in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or decency, or public health; or for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons, or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of the courts, protecting the privileges of Parliament, or regulating telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting, television or other means of communication, public exhibitions or public entertainments.”
Data Protection Application: “the processing of personal data, wholly or partly, by automated means and to such processing other than by automated means where this personal data forms part of a filing system or is intended to form part of a filing system.”
Freedom of Information Purpose: “Any eligible person has a right of access to documents held by public authorities in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this Act”
Thank You Email: firstname.lastname@example.org