Code of EU Online Rights

Posted on December 27, 2012 11:16 pm

Earlier today, I spend time reading the European Commission publication code of online Online Rights. The details are expected to improve EU citizens knowledge on their fundamental rights when connecting to the Internet. The publication titled; Code of EU Online Rights does not bring in new laws and instead explains in plain language the rights codified in existing laws universal to EU jurisdictions. Online rights broadly cover access, privacy, conflict resolution and consumer rights. The rights state that all European citizens should expect a ‘universal service’ of good quality, accessible fixed communications at a reasonable price for data and voice calls.The publication makes it clear that online access be open and neutral and online users should have their choice of applications and services. Member states should only ban applications or services when “appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society”, such as acting on content that might “seriously impair physical, mental and moral development” of minors or incite hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality.

EU citizens have also been granted right to online privacy and should be informed of the purpose of any data collected and stored about them.Interestingly, online users can request copies of their data and it is clear that certain information cannot be stored. When one is buying goods and services online, he or she is entitled to information on the product, price, delivery costs, identifying information on the trader, and minimum contracts for service plans, among others.These rights are particularly involving when considering the entering of a contract for provision of an online service.The Code of Online Rights also explores an EU citizen’s right to sue or be sued during disputes over online services, and details what processes citizens can call on when in dispute with an online service provider based in non-EU countries. Such information include personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership, and the processing of data concerning health or sex life is only permitted with explicit consent of the individual, where allowed by national legislation. Individuals have the right to secure communications such as e-mail, to be informed when their browsing is tracked and to be notified by their ISP should their private data be exposed.In my opinion, this is going to improve online communication and transactions within the European Union countries.

Contador Harrison