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July 2010 issue
OECD Information and Communication Policy News
Communication Infrastructures & Services - Information Economy
Security & Privacy - Consumer Protection - Statistics & Indicators


New Working Party on Consumer Product Safety

The newly created Working Party on Consumer Product Safety is aimed at enhancing the information-sharing on consumer product safety. It will take a lead in the implementation of the ten-point action plan. In the light of this, experts are making progress in designing a web-based recalls database, which may be operational in 2011. The portal is being tailored to meet the needs of product safety agencies, but it will also be open to the public. Work is also advancing on a second objective, which involves the development of a mechanism through which countries will be able to regularly inform each other of major policy developments.

Call for contributions: market surveillance authorities are invited to respond to web-based surveys on their national and international co-operation initiatives on consumer product safety. More information available at: www.oecd.org/sti/consumer-policy/productsafety

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Fifth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

The OECD is organising several events to take place at the fifth annual IGF Meeting in Vilnius (Lithuania) to take place 14-17 September 2010 including workshops on measuring communication and media, on how green is the Internet cloud, and on the role of Internet intermediaries in advancing public policy objectives.

More information at http://www.oecd.org/internetgovernance.

ICCP Technology Foresight Forum 2010: Smart ICTs and Green Growth

“Smart” ICT applications are a cornerstone of Green Growth agendas for sectors such as utilities, transport, buildings. The Forum on 29 September 2010 will discuss environmental opportunities, existing barriers and some potential risks to the wider roll-out of smart infrastructures; it will conclude with a discussion of policy implications. Focus areas include: smart technologies, smart life-styles and electric mobility. A background document will be available.

More information and draft agenda at: www.oecd.org/ict/TechnologyForesightForum.

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30 Years after the OECD Privacy Guidelines: The Evolving Role of the individual in Privacy Protection

This OECD Conference will be held in Jerusalem, Israel on 25-26 October and is part of a series of events marking the 30th Anniversary of the OECD Guidelines for the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Data Flows. It will be hosted by the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority, and held back-to-back with the 32nd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. For further information visit www.oecd.org/sti/privacyanniversary.


Consumer Policy Toolkit

“More choice and more complexity in many markets have made it increasingly difficult for consumers to compare and assess the value of products and services,” says Michael Jenkin, Chairman of the OECD’s Committee on Consumer Policy.

The OECD publication "Consumer Policy Toolkit" examines how markets have evolved and provides insights for improved consumer policy making. It explores, for the first time, how what we have learned through the study of behavioural economics is changing the way policy makers are addressing problems. Read the Brochure and Executive Summary. More information is available at: www.oecd.org/sti/consumer-policy/toolkit.

Report on enhancing product safety information sharing

Increasingly sophisticated products and a rapidly changing marketplace mean that surveillance authorities must swiftly detect and recall unsafe products. Global trade now makes international co-operation necessary even to ensure protection of domestic consumers, so enhanced information-sharing mechanisms are critical both between and within countries. The OECD has recently released a report which examines the existing mechanisms of information exchange and provides a ten-point action plan to enhance them. The implementation of this recommendations will be supervised by a newly created Working Party on Consumer Product Safety.

The ICT Sector in India: Performance, Growth and Key Challenges

Rapid growth in globally competitive Indian information technology services has helped to transform the Indian economy. A large skill pool, adequate telecommunication networks, and an improving policy and regulatory environment have enabled domestic and foreign firms to expand very rapidly. In contrast, the IT hardware segment has lagged, focuses very largely on the domestic market, and remains heavily dependent on imports of components and finished IT goods. This new report analyses recent growth of the ICT sector in India, and suggests policies to underpin further growth.

Geographically segmented regulation of telecommunications

Regulatory authorities in most OECD countries have traditionally adopted a national geographic area focus when framing the geographic scope of telecommunications markets. Arguments stemming from market analysis economics suggest that differential regulation be considered between geographic areas where facility-based competition has developed and where it has not. The aim of this paper is to appraise the case for, and developments in, the use of sub-national geographically segmented regulation for fixed telecommunications networks.

OECD report on the future of news and the Internet

What potential roles might government support take in supporting a diverse and local press without putting its independence at stake? OECD provides an in depth-treatment of the global newspaper market and its evolution, with a particular view on its economics, the development of online news, related opportunities and challenges, and policy approaches. More information available at: www.oecd.org/document/48/0,3343,en_2649_34223_45449136_1_1_1_1,00.html.

Broadband data for December 2009 just released

There were 283 million broadband subscriptions in the OECD area in December 2009. The average penetration rate across the OECD has grown to 23.3 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants up from 22.8 in June 2009. New data on broadband subscriptions and penetration rates are available on the OECD broadband portal.

Green technology: Using ICTs to tackle climate change and environmental challenges

OECD governments agree to improve the use of information and communication technologies to tackle environmental challenges and accelerate green growth. The OECD Council Recommendation gives a ten-point checklist for government policy, including provisions on improving environmental impacts of ICTs. More information available at: www.oecd.org/document/26/0,3343,en_2649_33757_45073498_1_1_1_1,00.html.


Roundtable discussion of the OECD's "Consumer Policy Toolkit"

On 21 July, in Washington D.C., the US Federal Trade Commission’s Chairman Jon Leibowitz welcomed stakeholders and journalists at a roundtable discussion of the OECD's just-published "Consumer Policy Toolkit". The distinguished guests: Ambassador Karen Kornbluh and OECD Director for Science, Technology, and Industry, Andrew Wyckoff, provided the insights into the relevance of this work for policy makers and welcomed questions from the public. More information is available at www.oecd.org/document/51/0,3343,en_2649_34267_45577907_1_1_1_1,00.html.

OECD workshop on the role of Internet intermediaries in advancing public policy objectives

The OECD Workshop on “The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Advancing Public Policy Objectives” took place on June 16, 2010, in Paris, France, and discussed and identified best practices and lessons learned from experience to date of Internet intermediaries in advancing public policy objectives. The workshop brought together more than 30 experts in their fields from a broad range of disciplines and areas of expertise, including the technical and academic communities, policy-makers, and private sector representatives. More information is available at: www.oecd.org/sti/ict/intermediaries.

OECD workshop on enhancing the value and effectiveness of environmental claims: protecting and empowering consumers

What can be done to ensure the accuracy, clarity and effectiveness of environmental marketing claims was the subject of an OECD workshop entitled Enhancing the Value and the Effectiveness of Environmental Claims: Protecting and Empowering Consumers, held in Paris on 15-16 April 2010. The event brought together over 160 representatives from government, business and civil society. Workshop conclusions will feed into the OECD Green Growth Strategy and the work of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. The workshop’s conclusions are available at: www.oecd.org/document/4/0,3343,en_2649_34267_45543620_1_1_1_1,00.html.


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