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Joint ERCIM Actions
ERCIM News No.49, April 2002



News about legal information related to Information Technology from European directives, and pan-European legal requirements and regulations.

Network and Information Security
The recent EU Communication on Network and Information Security has as its key requirement the need for interoperability between IT systems and security solutions. Member States are responsible for incorporating effective information security into their e-procurement and e-government activities and in so doing offer a lead to private sector organisations. As technology evolves the use of managed security service providers that offer integrated security solutions is increasingly being considered in an effort to stay ahead of illegal hackers.

The Communication on cybercrime, under discussion within the EU, recommends that a European forum be established to identify security problems and appropriate pan-European solutions to deal with cybercrime. The law across European jurisdictions at the present time varies considerably and lacks consistency. The demand for security solutions and associated legal advice will increase as awareness of the issues surrounding cybercrime grows.

Data Protection
Article 17 of the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC requires Data Controllers and Data Processors to ensure that security measures are in place to protect personal data, and that those measures are appropriate to nature of the data and the risks involved with the processing. The 'appropriate measure' in respect of sensitive data, ie data about racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, trade union membership, political opinions, physical or mental health or condition, criminal offences, proceedings or convictions, will require market leading security devices. At the present time there are no international standards for such security solutions.

The research firm IDC revealed in their recent study European Corporate Business Skills Training Market Forecast and Analysis 2000-2005 that e-learning represented just 3% of the business skills training market in 2001. According to IDC only as recently as last year were European training organisations offering a mix of instructor-led and e-learning services. The use of e-learning techniques for IT training was slightly higher than for traditional business training, but even so e-learning in IT training only accounted for 6% of the market. IDC estimates a growth rate of 69% in e-learning for IT skills training between 2000-2005; the equivalent growth rate in the business skills sector was estimated at 108%.

by Heather Weaver, CLRC
Tel: +44 1 235 446151