Exploring the Realm of Privacy: The Institutional Process of the European Personal Data Privacy Directive

By Francesca Odella.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper addresses the problem of privacy concerns and the impact of a common European legislative framework. The aim is to evaluate the relationship between public opinion and policy development in EU member countries and specifically the presence of different institutional regimes of privacy. Privacy rights in contemporary society are threatened and at the same favoured by globalization and technological advancement in telecommunication. In the last decade their protection was put at risk by security and market implications and institutional actions were promoted by governments and international organizations. The European Union represents one of the main international actors in pursuing protection of personal information and privacy rights. In particular, the European approach distinguishes itself because the development of the privacy policy had its start from a common agreement on the nature of this basic human right and the proactive role that national governments should have in enacting its exercise by citizens. The analysis described in the paper concentrate on the role of the so called Data controllers (companies) and using data from a European survey describes the presence of different levels of awareness for privacy issues and towards social change in communications.

Keywords: Privacy, Policy Implementation, Technology Impact, Companies, Public Opinion

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.203-218. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 709.176KB).

Dr. Francesca Odella

Researcher - Lecturer, Department Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

Dr. Odella holds a BA in Sociology at the University of Trento (1996) and a Ph.D. in Economic Sociology at the University of Brescia, Faculty of Economics (2001). She has been Visiting Researcher at IBS of University of Colorado (1999) and participant to Essex Summer School in Social Sciences Methodology (1993, 2001). After being awarded Post- Doc grant at Sociology Dept. of Trento University (2001), she has supervised several research projects in collaboration with local and national authorities (IRSRS, ISIG, Miur, CNR, Cerise, CNIT) and private institutions. Since 2003 she has been teaching Sociology of the Work at the University of Trieste, Faculty of Psychology. Her current research interests involve combined use of qualitative and quantitative research techniques in the social sciences applied to the study of socio-economic relationships and social capital. In the last two years she has been working on applications of network analysis to study of communication and privacy implications of relational data.

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