World Information Society Day 2009
May 16, 2009
Today, NACPEC joins international efforts and commemorates World Information Society Day (Internet Day). NACPEC congratulates consumers, internet users, as well all representatives from international, government, industry, academic and consumer organizations involved in the development of policies for the internet.
European Commission Launches eYou Guide Website
May 5, 2009
The Director General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission has launched a website called “eYou Guide to your Rights Online.”
The website, which is in four languages, contains a list of frequently asked questions with answers and tips for citizens to follow in different topics like privacy, online shopping and advertising, spam, copyright and intellectual property, protecting minors, social networks, among others. See the press release.
TACD Resolution on Social Networking
May 2, 2009
The Transatlantic Consume Dialogue (TACD) ha issued a resolution on social networking, the purpose of which is to (i) encourage pro-active co-operation between EU and US agencies to achieve better harmonization of regulatory practices and privacy protection; (ii) raise awareness about the potential risks in particular regarding privacy in using social networks and educate the public about how individuals can protect their privacy; (iii) improve enforcement of existing rules and regulation; (iv) encourage development of global guidelines for online advertising, sales promotions and direct marketing to children in social networks.. The Resolution is available here.
European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Calls for Code of Conduct
April 1, 2009
The European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Meglena Kuneva urged the online advertising industry to create a code of conduct for protecting web users' privacy rights during a meeting in Brussels. The commissioner outlined European laws regulating the protection of privacy, commercial contracts, and countering discrimination, and indicated that such regulations were failing to keep up with the pace of developments on the internet. She called on the online industry advertising to come up with a voluntary code of conduct to protect consumer and privacy rights, but clearly signalled that the EU authorities would probably have to legislate to prevent furtrher abuses. Since the personalised advertising was tailored to the individual's interests and online shopping habits, "tools must now be developed that balance the interests of business with those of the consumers," Kuneva said. See more at the Guardian.
European Commission Sets Out Five Priorities for Consumer Policy
June 20, 2008
The EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva in a recent speech in London set out five priority areas for action for consumer policy in the digital age. These include: a single, simple set of consumer contract laws, the need to reconsider restrictions imposed by suppliers on distribution over the internet, a critical assessment of the use of business models based on geographical discrimination online, clamping down on the “next generation” of unfair commercial practices that are emerging online; and addressing critical privacy issues, in particular the conditions under which consumers give informed consent for the use of their personal data. The overall aim of these policies is to open up the Internal Market through e-commerce to deliver the full benefits to consumers. See more at the European Commission’s website.
Charter of Consumer Rights in the Digital World
May 20, 2008
The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) has released the Charter for Consumer Rights in the Digital World. The charter sets outs the core rights that TACD’s members consider as indispensable to meeting the challenges presented by the digital world and the utilization of its potentials. These core rights are based on a wide range of TACD resolutions that have previously established the interests of consumers in the digital world. The TACD is a forum of US and EU consumer organizations, which develops and agrees joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union to promote the consumer interest in EU and US policy-making.
FTC Approves New Rules for CAN-SPAM
May 12, 2008
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved four new rule provisions to clarify requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003). The new rule provisions address four topics, including modifying the definitions of the terms “sender” and “person,” and tightening restrictions on what companies can and cannot require of e-mail recipients who opt-out of future emails. The new rules are based on numerous comments and suggestions from a broad spectrum of online commerce industry professionals, trade associations, consumers, and consumer and privacy advocates. See more at the FTC’s page.
The Internet Society (ISOC) 2007 Ambassadors Program to the IGF
November 5, 2007
NACPEC’s general director Cristos Velasco has been elected to participate in the Ambassadors Program of the Internet Society (ISOC) to the second meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 11-15 November 2007. NACPEC’s general director will have the chance to participate in the different sessions and workshops of this year. Cristos Velasco expressed the following comments: “It is such an honor to participate with other members of the ISOC community in this important global event. The Ambassadors program represents an excellent opportunity, not only to promote and support ISOC’s mission, but also the public interest and civil society views on various topics sub-themes related to Internet governance in a vast number of fields, including regulation and policy.”
See ISOC’s press release.
FTC Enforcement Actions Under US Safe Web Act
October 10, 2007
The Federal Trade Commission announced that it had filed complaint in Illinois under the US Safe Web Act against companies and individuals in Australia, Canada, and the United States seeking to halt e-mail messages promoting weight loss and anti-aging products and to prevent further efforts to market the products. The announcement was made during the third joint workshop between the London Action Plan (LAP) and the European Union's Contact Network of Spam Authorities (CNSA) that took place in Arlington, Virginia.
See more at the FTC website.
Spam Pump and Dumpers Face Up to Ten Years in Jail
September 14, 2007
Security firm Sophos reports that four men have pleaded guilty to being part of an international gang that used spam to manipulate the stock market, raising more than $20 million from investors. The pump-and-dump stock campaigns work by spammers purchasing stock at a cheap price and then artificially inflating its price by encouraging others to purchase more (often by spamming “good news” about the company to others.
The international gang sold off their stock, netting more than $20 million in profits, some of which was shared with the companies that were having their share prices manipulated. Astonishingly, these firms were involved in the operation, although it is not believed they realized anything illegal was taking place.
Experts from that company report that pump-and-dump stock campaigns like this account for approximately 25 percent of all spam, up from 0.8 percent in January 2005.
See more at the Sophos website.
OECD Member Countries Adopted a Recommendation on Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress
July 12, 2007
OECD Member countries adopted a Recommendation on Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress to provide governments with a framework to help consumers resolve disputes and settle claims with business. The framework covers disputes in both domestic and cross-border transactions. It was developed to deal with issues arising from the rapid growth in electronic commerce, but it will also benefit consumers making traditional types of purchases.
See more at the OECD’s website.
OECD Council Adopts Recommendation on Electronic Authentication
July 6, 2007
The OECD Council has adopted a Recommendation calling on Member countries to establish compatible, technology-neutral approaches for effective domestic and cross-border e-authentication of persons and entities. The key role of e-authentication in fostering trust online and the continued development of the digital economy is reaffirmed. Guidance on e-Authentication has also been developed to assist Member countries and non-Member economies in establishing or amending their approaches with a view to facilitating cross-border authentication.
See more at the OECD’s website.
OECD Governments Agree on a Framework for Privacy Law Enforcement Cooperation
June 13, 2007
OECD governments have agreed on a new framework for co-operation in the enforcement of privacy laws. The initiative is motivated by a recognition that changes in the character and volume of cross-border data flows have elevated privacy risks for individuals and highlighted the need for better co-operation among the authorities charged with providing them protection. The framework reflects a commitment by governments to improve their domestic frameworks for privacy law enforcement to better enable their authorities to co-operate with foreign authorities, as well as to provide mutual assistance to one another in the enforcement of privacy laws. See more at the OECD’s website.
Pew Internet and American Life Project Releases Spam Survey
May 30, 2007
According to a new survey released on May 30 by the Pew Internet and American Life Project more e-mail users today report an increase in spam (37 percent) than did so in February 2004 (24 percent), which is just after the federal legislation in the US (CAN-SPAM Act) went into effect.
On the other hand, over the same time period, there has been a significant drop in the number of people (52 percent, down from 71) who report receiving pornographic spam, which was one of the main legislative targets of the CAN-SPAM Act. See more at newsfactor.
European Commission to Consider Identity Theft Legislation
May 24, 2007
The European Commission is considering new legislation against identity theft. The proposal is contained in a just-published policy on EU-wide plans to fight cybercrime.
The European Commission's policy on fighting cybercrime in Europe is the product of many years of consultation and focuses on greater co-operation between European law enforcements authorities. See more at the Register and
World Information Society Day 2007
May 16, 2007
Today, NACPEC joins international efforts and commemorates World Information Society Day. NACPEC congratulates consumers, internet users, as well all those international, government, industry, academic and civil society organizations involved in the development of the Internet. As part of the activities organized in this international day, NACPEC has submitted a paper contribution to the Second WSIS Action Line C5 Facilitation Meeting on Cybersecurity organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva 14-15 May 2007. The paper contribution aims to serve as a national reference material for the legal frameworks area, to share information on the status of cybercrime legislation and law enforcement in Mexico; as well as to feed into the international cooperation activities and global partnerships on cybersecurity of the Strategy and Policy Unit of the ITU and other multilateral and regional organizations working in this area.
The Economist Published Article on Technology Use Habits
May 11, 2007
The Economist has recently published an interesting article titled: “Luddities in Cyberspace.” The article discusses the habits of Americans in using technologies based on the results of a study of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
See more at the Economist.
Project Honey Pot Filed Anti-Spam Lawsuit
April 26, 2007
Project Honey Pot a distributed system for identifying spammers and spambots, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia the largest anti-spam lawsuit on April 26, 2007. Project Honey Pot filed the suit on behalf of 20,000 people who use its anti-spam tool, and seeks more than USD$1billion in statutory damages. This is the first major case in the United States to bring a claim against spammers for harvesting e-mail addresses. The case was filed under the Virginia anti-spam statute, as well as the federal CAN-SPAM anti-spam law.
See more at the Project Honey Pot website and at the
US Federal Identity Theft Task Force Releases Report
April 23, 2007
The US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras today released the President's Identity Theft Task Force's detailed plan to combat ID theft. The task force recommended that federal agencies reduce its use of Social Security numbers. It also recommended national standards that would require private-sector organizations to protect the personal data they collect and store. The group also recommended that these organizations notify consumers when a breach poses a significant risk of identity theft. To improve the investigation and prosecution of identity theft cases, the group suggested the creation of a National Identity Theft Law Enforcement Center. See more at:
Mono Visione Wahsington Post
OECD Organizes Preparatory Workshops Towards the Ministerial Meeting of 2008
April 2, 2007
The OECD Committee on Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP) is currently organizing a series of preparatory workshops for the Ministerial Meeting “The Future of the Internet Economy” to be held in Seoul, Korea on 17-18 June 2008. The objectives of these workshops include: (i) to enable the exchange of views and information between policy makers, experts from the research community and from the private sector, academia, and civil society; (ii) to discuss the trends shaping the future of the Internet and foster a forward-looking, international discussions on critical issues related to the future of the Internet; (iii) to explore various approaches technical, regulatory, and economic that are being taken or can be taken to create new functionality for and increased trust in the Internet, in order to promote its sustained growth and adoption; and (iv) to identify opportunities for increased international co-operation on pressing issues. See more at the OECD’ website.
Gartner Releases Report on Identity Theft
March 21, 2007
Approximately 15 million Americans fell victim to some sort of identity theft-related fraud in the 12 months ending in July 2006, according to a survey by Gartner. These statistics represent more than 50 percent increase since 2003, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported 9.9 million American adult identity theft victims.
According to the Gartner survey of 5,000 online U.S. adults in August 2006, the average loss was $3,257 in 2006, up from $1,408 in 2005. See more at destinationcrm.com.
World Consumer Rights Day 2007
March 15, 2007
Today, NACPEC celebrates World’s Consumer Rights Day. NACPEC congratulates consumers, as well all those international, government, industry, academic and civil society organizations involved in consumer policy-making and the protection of the consumer interest. NACPEC is a non-for profit, independent organization supported through the work and collaboration of the academic sector in Mexico. NACPEC provides legal advice and support the rights of Mexican consumers who have experience deceptive and fraudulent practices on the Internet through its online form. If you are interested in volunteering, making a donation or a financial contribution, please contact us.
One in Six Canadians Hit by Identity Theft
March 1, 2007
Identity theft has hit one out of every six adult Canadians — more than 4.2 million people — either directly or within their immediate households, a survey suggests.
The poll, conducted in 2006 by the Strategic Counsel for the Competition Bureau of Canada, suggests that 17 per cent of Canadians aged 18 or older have either been victimized themselves or had an incident affecting someone in their homes. The survey also looks at marketing fraud, with the results indicating that 31 percent have been victims but only eight percent went to the local police to report the fraud. See more at CBC news.
DiploFoundation Releases Publication on E-Commerce in Developing Countries
February 21, 2007
As part of the Internet Governance and Policy Discussion series, the DiploFoundation has released an interesting paper entitled: “Promoting E-Commerce in Developing Countries.” This study examines the advantages of and possibilities for the use of digital signatures to carry out electronic transactions. It focuses on developing and transition countries that have not fully implemented the use of digital signatures in their economic, commercial, and productive processes. An important aim of this review is to create awareness of the likely effects of enforcing digital signatures to carry out e-commerce transactions on the economies of developing and transition countries. The study also proposes important issues for policy-makers in developing countries to consider in fostering the development of e-commerce.
ACMA Launched a Series of Spam Investigations
February 20, 2007
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
launched a series of investigations into possible breaches of local anti-spamming laws following its successful prosecution of a Perth spammer last year. ACMA reports pursuing a number of possible violations of the 2003 Spam Act as the volume of unsolicited emails hitting Australian servers continued to increase. See more at Australian IT.
FTC Launched National Consumer Protection Week 2007
February 10, 2007
The FTC launched its annual campaign National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). This year’s campaign “Read Up and Reach Out: Be an Informed Consumer” encourages people across the US to take advantage of the wealth of information that can enhance confidence in the marketplace. The purpose of the campaign seeks to help people recognize a rip-off, smell a scam, or find a fraud. See the version in Spanish.
EU Call on a Consultation on Consumer Legislation
February 8, 2007
A public consultation on the future of the European consumer laws has been recently launched in the EU. For this purpose, the EU Commission has published a Green Paper calling on all interested persons to express their views on the issues identified in the context of the Review of Consumer Aquis. The review covers 8 different directives aimed at protecting consumers, and the eventual aim is to achieve greater harmonisation of consumer laws across Europe. Responses are due by 15 May 2007. The EU Commission will examine the contributions and publish a summary thereof in the first half of 2007. See more at the ECC-Net website.
Identity Theft Remains Top Concern for US Consumers
February 7, 2007
Identity theft complaints, which include credit card fraud, bank fraud, as well as phone and utilities fraud, accounted for 36 percent of the total 674,354 complaints submitted to the FTC and its external data contributors last year. Credit card fraud (25 percent) was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by phone or utilities fraud (16 percent), bank fraud (16 percent), and employment fraud (14 percent).
See the annual report of the FTC.
See more at CNET news and PCWorld.
NACPEC Joins Protectyour.org Awareness Campaign
January 26, 2007
NACPEC has joined the PIR’s public awareness campaign entitled: “Protectyour.org, Preserving the Value of Your .ORG” in order to raise international awareness of the value of .ORG domain names and the potential dangers of allowing .ORG domains to expire. The campaign seeks to educate registrants about the value of .ORG domains even those that are not currently being used as web sites. The campaign contains a booklet in eight languages offering useful tips and information for locating, managing, consolidating, and securing domain names in order to reduce the potential for problems that may occur when domain names lapse either intentionally or because the registrant was unaware that a name had expired. See more at NACPEC’s section on Campaigns.
US SAFE WEB Act Signed Into Law by President George Bush
January 1, 2007
During its final week in session, the 109th US Congress passed a measure designed to allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be more effective in protecting consumers from spam, spyware and Internet fraud on a global scale. The Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers Beyond Borders Act of 2006 (the “US SAFE WEB Act”) empowers the FTC to share confidential information and investigational assistance with counterpart agencies in foreign countries. Just before the end of 2006, the President signed the measure into law. See more at the FTC’s website.
International Meeting on Spam and Spyware to be Held in Brussels
December 1, 2006
The London Action Plan and the EU’s Contact Network of Spam Authorities will hold a joint meeting in Brussels on 13, 14 December 2006. The meeting, titled: “International Enforcement Cooperation: Spam, Spyware, and other Online Threats” will bring together enforcers, policy makers and industry to discuss methods of combating spam, spyware and other online threats.
See more at StopSpamAlliance.org.
Security Firm Says Nine out of Ten E-mails are Spam
November 27, 2006
U.S. email security firm Postini reports that nine out of 10 emails are spam as the result of criminal gangs that have secretly overtaken computers to pump out emails seeking to scam users on everything from drugs to stock tips. The firm said that many e-mail systems that have been inundated with spam are overloaded trying to manage the volume. The company estimates that 7 billion spam emails were circulating worldwide in November compared with 2.5 billion in June. Spam costs firms up to $1,000 a year per employee in lost productivity and higher computing bills, according to research published last year.
See more at CNN.com.
US Leads the World in Phishing
November 7, 2006
The United States leads the world in phishing sites, according to new results from PhishTank. The group has just released its statistics from October, and they indicate that the US hosted 24 percent of all phishing sites in the world last month. South Korea was next with 14 percent, and India came in third with eight percent.
See Press Release.
Anti-Spam International Alliance Formed
November 1, 2006
Six international groups involved in the fight against spam have joined forces on gathering information and resources. The StopSpamAlliance was launched during the OECD’s Anti-Spam Tool Kit Workshop organized in Athens as part of the multi-stakeholder activities of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The alliance aims to encourage more global co-operation. The organizations involved are APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), the European Union's CNSA (Contact Network of Spam-Enforcement Authorities), the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), the London Action Plan, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the Seoul-Melbourne Anti-Spam group. See press release.
Privacy International Releases Privacy & Human Rights Report 2005
November 1, 2006
Privacy International, an advocacy group on global privacy issues based in London released a list on various privacy related issues in 37 countries during the
Privacy Workshops of the UN Internet Governance Forum which took place in Athens in 30-31 October The study ranks countries on various privacy-related issues. These include whether they have a written constitution with specific mention of privacy, the use of identity cards and biometrics, electronic surveillance including closed-circuit TV cameras, interception of communication, access of law-enforcement agencies to private data, surveillance of travel and financial transactions, and global leadership in promoting privacy. See more at Privacy International. See Press Releases: CTV and Globe and Mail.
OECD Releases Report on the Cross-Border Enforcement of Privacy Laws
October 26, 2006
The Working Party on Information Security and Privacy (WPISP) of the OECD released today a “Report on the Cross-Border Enforcement of Privacy Laws.” The report examines the law enforcement authorities and mechanisms that have been established with a particular focus on how they operate in the cross-border context. It describes existing arrangements to address the challenges and identifies a number of issues that require further consideration. The report was developed by an expert group led the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
OECD to Host Anti-Spam Workshop in Athens
October 13, 2006
The OECD will held a workshop on Wednesday November 1st 2006 during the first meeting of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) http://www.intgovforum.org/wksshop_program3.htm entitled: “Anti-spam Toolkit: a multi-stakeholder, multilayered approach.” The panel discussion is organised around four main themes: (i) policy and strategy at governmental level; (ii) technical solutions, best practices and cooperation in the private sector; (iii) capacity building, support and information sharing: the needs of developing countries; and (iv) international co-operation and exchange of information.
FTC to Host Hearings on Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade
October 9, 2006
The Federal Trade Commission will host hearings on “Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade” on November 6-8, 2006. The hearings will bring together experts from the business, government, and technology sectors, consumer advocates, academicians, and law enforcement officials to explore the ways in which convergence and the globalization of commerce impact consumer protection. The hearings will provide an opportunity to examine changes that have occurred in marketing and technology over the past decade, and to garner experts' views on coming challenges and opportunities for consumers, businesses, and governmental bodies. On November 9, 2006, there will be hearings open only to law enforcers and government officials.
Diplo Foundation Releases Publication On Internet Governance
October 1, 2006
The Diplo Foundation in conjunction with Global Knowledge Partnership has released a publication entitled: “Internet Governance, Issues, Actors and Divides.” This publication contains an introduction and background on the topic; the international negotiations and its future evolution. Additionally, the book is divided into five different baskets, and of particular interest is a legal basket containing a number of legal topics on the regulation of the Internet like jurisdiction, arbitration, intellectual property rights, trademarks, copyrights, patents, cybercrime, digital signatures, labour law and privacy and data protection.
FTC Shuts Down Four Illegal Spam Operations
September 14, 2006
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged four operations with violating the CAN-SPAM Act. Two of the spam operations hijacked computers and then used them to send sexually explicit email to users, according to the FTC. Another spam operation used emails to drive traffic to Web sites. The operation used consumers’ computers without their knowledge to send promotions for pharmaceuticals and adult content, the FTC said. See more at the FTC’s website. See press coverage at news.com and computerworld.com.
Consumers International Launches Publication on Asia-Pacific Consumer
September 12, 2006
Consumers International has issued an interesting publication entitled: Asia-Pacific Consumer on Copyright and Access to Knowledge. This publication contains articles on the theme of Copyright and Access to Knowledge in different countries of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as other articles written by outstanding academic and consumer advocates namely on freedom and diversity; the WIPO Development Agenda, the Access to Knowledge Treaty; Blocking Access with Digital Locks, Open Access and Open Source Software, among others.
FTC Announces Anti-Spyware Settlement
September 6, 2006
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement against two California companies accused of spreading malicious spyware to more than 18 million computer users worldwide. At the FTC’s request, a federal judge froze the operation’s assets last fall and ordered it shut down. The settlement requires the defendants to give up $2.045 million of their ill-gotten gains and includes a suspended judgment of $8.5 million for alleged violations of the FTC Act. See more at the FTC’s website.
See press coverage from Business Week an the LA Times.
One in five Canadians Are Victims of Identity Theft
August 16, 2006
A recent survey carried out by Leger Marketing on behalf of uni-ball has found that one in five Canadians either have, or know someone who has, been a victim of identity theft. The study also found that four out of five Canadians claim to regularly destroy sensitive documents and relatively few others secure their signature or other information on documents with permanent ink. Other relevant key findings include the following: 43 per cent do not bother to create unique or challenging passwords to protect their accounts and themselves from identity theft and fraud. Fewer women than men (54 per cent vs. 60 per cent) protect themselves from identity theft and fraud by creating unique or challenging passwords on all of their accounts - personal and work related. Only 24 per cent of Canadians avoid placing checks in the mail. See more at the CNW Group website.