Global marketing news – 4 August 2015
New Italian law could change global internet rights
Italy has published the final draft of its bill of rights for internet users.
The Declaration of Internet Rights states that complete net neutrality is necessary “for the effectiveness of an individual’s fundamental rights”.
This could mean that initiatives such as Facebook’s Internet.org project, which aims to introduce new internet users to a range of hand-picked websites through an app, will not be in line with Italian law.
The bill also states that access the internet is a fundamental right for all Italian citizens, an important point as around a third of Italians have never used the internet. It also stresses the importance of the right to anonymity online.
The bill’s authors hope to introduce the bill to a wider international audience at the Internet Governance Forum taking place in Brazil in November this year. They have announced their hopes that it will be used as a basis for internet rights laws across the world.
Some commentators have criticised parts of the bill, however, saying that it does not go far enough to protect freedom of speech online. The World Wide Web Foundation have also spoken out, saying: “The Bill falls short in protecting anonymity and encryption, while clauses around data retention are unclear”.
Germany shoots down Facebook’s real-name policy
Regulators in Germany have told Facebook that it is not allowed to enforce its real-name policy in the country.
Facebook’s real-name policy states that users are only allowed to have one account each, and that the account must use the individual’s legal name.
If an account is suspected of using a fake name, it is locked by the social network until the user provides a copy of a legal document that includes their real name, such as a passport or ID card.
German regulators say that the policy goes against German law, which says that German citizens have a right to use a pseudonym. Regulators also say that it is illegal for the company to ask for digital copies of user’s passports and ID cards.
A spokesperson from Facebook has hit out against the regulators, saying: “We’re disappointed Facebook’s authentic name policy is being revisited, since German courts have reviewed it on multiple occasions and regulators have determined it fully complies with applicable European data protection law.”
Study investigates Chinese cross-border e-commerce habits
PayPal has published a study about cross-border e-commerce habits in China.
The study revealed that three-quarters of online Chinese adults have bought from an American retailer, and that half of online shoppers are planning on increasing their cross-border e-commerce purchases in the next year.
The most popular product categories bought by Chinese cross-border shoppers were clothes, vitamins, and children and baby products.
The two key reasons given by Chinese shoppers on why they bought American goods were their perceived quality and authenticity.
Chinese shoppers are a lucrative target for international retailers, with research showing that they spend on average twice as much as a US online shopper.
PayPal is trying to enter the Chinese online payments market, which is currently dominated by Alipay. To help it to achieve this goal, it has teamed up with the Chinese bank UnionPay, a move that has given it access to UnionPay’s 4.7 billion cardholders.
Google and Sri Lanka consider giant internet-beaming balloons
And finally, Google is in talks with Sri Lanka about delivering country-wide internet to the small country via giant floating balloons.
Touted “Project Loon”, the idea is that the balloons will float above the country and beam down the internet, meaning that the whole country, including hard-to-reach rural areas, will have internet capabilities.
Just 3 million Sri Lankans currently have access to the internet, out of a total population of 20 million people. If Project Loon goes ahead it would therefore be a game-changer in the Sri Lankan internet market.
The balloons are scheduled to launch in March next year, although some commentators have said this seems like an overly optimistic timescale.
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