Editorial

Welcome to issue No 2 of 2011. We have four refereed articles and a shorter commentary.

Vandezande notes the rising use of pseudonyms on the internet as a privacy mask and discusses the counter possibility of their use in public administrative transactions based upon unique ID numbers. He provides an overview of which European countries are currently using and encouraging these with the aim of mapping the potential risks to privacy from these policy steps.

Bernal looks to an issue which is being much discussed as we begin to actualise personal data as 'fundamental right' - that of the 'right to delete'. While critics argue that this is obliterating history, Bernal suggests that a right to delete should mean that holders of data must explain why they have not deleted information, shaping - he suggests - a more privacy friendly internet.

Leith looks at the possibilities of accessing, for research purposes, personal data which has been collected as part of a public registration process. As access to government data sets improves, will that also mean access to data sets which include personal information about citizens?

Gillen provides a critique of the free market as a means of countering the digital divide, arguing along with many that imposing intellectual property models through the WTO benefits western industry more than the recipients of these models. Her suggested solution is to focus more upon open source strategies, allowing more localisation and the ability to inform the higher levels from that local one.

Finally, Virtanen gives us a German case note on the problematic Database Directive and the meaning of extraction. A published text of German poems from 1720 to 1933 by one professor (with the list openly available on the internet) was quite closely mirrored by a CD-ROM produced by another professor. Was that extraction?