[Offtopic] OECD Information and Communications Policy & Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry

Stephen Loosley stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Jul 27 18:59:59 EST 2007

OECD  Information and Communications Policy 


The Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP, www.oecd.org/sti/ict) develops policies to maximise the benefits of the Information Society. 

What's new

* OECD invites public comment on the Future of the Internet Economy

from 25-Jul-2007 to 14-Sep-2007

The OECD is inviting public comments on issues such as convergence, innovation, trust, which will be discussed at the planned "Future of the Internet Economy" Ministerial meeting to be held in June 2008 in Seoul, Korea. 

* Report on Second Roundtable on Economics for Consumer Policy


The second Roundtable on economics for consumer policy brought academics and senior government officials together to examine the nature of failures in markets where supply-side competition is deemed to be effective. It considered the economic theories of information disclosure, focusing on two major industry sectors – telecommunications and financial services. How policies addressing demand side failures could be strengthened was considered.

* Registration for the OECD-Canada Technology Foresight Forum on the Participative web is now open

on 03-Oct-2007

This first-ever international policy forum on the participative web will bring together experts from around the world to address related questions on 3 October 2007 in Ottawa, Canada.

* Consumer contracts: Ensuring that the contracts work for shoppers


Consumers enter into contracts covering a wide range of purchases – health care, housing, financial investment, telecommunication services and leisure services are some examples. In addition, with the increasing convergence of financial arrangements and consumer activities in modern life, consumers are prone to take on longer-term commitments. The OECD report on contracts takes a close look at how governments in different countries help protect the interests of consumers when they sign such contracts.

* OECD governments to help consumers


OECD Member countries have agreed common principles aimed at providing consumers with effective mechanisms to resolve their disputes and obtain redress for economic harm resulting from transactions with business. The new framework, which applies to disputes arising in both a domestic and cross-border context, is aimed at strengthening consumer trust on-line and at helping them benefit from e-commerce advantages.

* Telecoms advances throw up new challenges for operators, says OECD


Telecommunications investment continues to rise and consumers are generally paying less for more and better services across the OECD area but technology developments are presenting new challenges to telecoms operators, according to a new OECD report.

* OECD Council adopts recommendation on electronic authentication


The OECD Council has adopted a Recommendation calling on Member countries to establish compatible, technology-neutral approaches for effective domestic and cross-border e-authentication of persons and entities. The key role of e-authentication in fostering trust online and the continued development of the digital economy is reaffirmed. Guidance on e-Authentication has also been developed to assist Member countries and non-Member economies in establishing or amending their approaches with a view to facilitating cross-border authentication.

* OECD governments agree on a framework for privacy law enforcement co-operation


Embodied in a new OECD Recommendation, the framework reflects a commitment by governments to improve their domestic frameworks for privacy law enforcement to better enable their authorities to co-operate with foreign authorities, as well as to provide mutual assistance to one another in the enforcement of privacy laws.

* Joint WPIIS/WPIE workshop on the Economic and Social Impacts of Broadband Communications: from ICT Measurement to Policy Implications

on 22-May-2007

The workshop reviewed studies of the impacts of broadband roll-out and use: a) on economic performance at aggregate level and in the business sector, and b) on the geographical distribution of economic activity and employment, on content producers and users, and on households. It covered recent and ongoing analysis for as a wide range of OECD countries.

* OECD Broadband Statistics to December 2006


Over the past year, the number of broadband subscribers in the OECD increased 26% from 157 million in December 2005 to 197 million in December 2006. This growth increased broadband penetration rates in the OECD from 13.5 in December 2005 to 16.9 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants one year later.

* Internet traffic prioritisation


Internet traffic prioritisation is an increasingly important policy issue as bandwidth demands increase and Internet applications require higher levels of quality of service to function well. Debates about traffic prioritisation, particularly in the context of “network neutrality” discussions, have been divisive. The study provides background for national debates by examining the role of traffic prioritisation in networks and highlighting associated policy and regulatory issues.

* APEC TEL and the OECD hosted joint workshop on malware 

from 22-Apr-2007 to 23-Apr-2007

This workshop, held in Manila, Philippines, was the first part of joint work on the subject of malware being undertaken by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL) and the OECD. Proceedings are available.

* Participative web: user-created content


The concept of the ‘participative web’ postulates an Internet increasingly influenced by intelligent, web services based on new technologies that empower the user to be an increasing contributor to developing, rating, collaborating and distributing Internet content and customising Internet applications. This study describes the rapid growth of UCC and its increasingly important role in worldwide communication and draws out implications for policy.

* Overview of the gender distribution of ICT and ICT-related employment in OECD countries


There are a number of reasons for the heightened interest in gender-related issues and the aim to mainstream gender into all aspects of economic and social activity. From an efficiency point of view, women need to be part of economic activity at all levels, from decision-making to execution phases, and this is becoming increasingly urgent in the light of demographic pressures and aging populations in most OECD countries. 

* Is China the new centre for offshoring of IT and ICT-enabled services?


This paper analyses current developments in IT and ICT-enabled services offshoring to China and discusses the potential for further growth, using indicators of international trade, human resources and ICT infrastructure. R&D activities are a specific example of China’s potential to supply more highly skilled ICT-enabled services and move up the value chain.

* The Development of Policies for the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures (CII)


The 2006 OECD study offers an analysis of the CII security policies in four countries - Canada, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States - with a focus on the drivers for and challenges to their development. It examines each country’s definition of the CII, risk management strategies, frameworks and policies, challenges to information sharing, and cross-border cooperation for addressing the risk to the CII. The report also identifies commonalities and differences in policies for protecting the CII across the countries. The study is expanded in 2007 to 3 additional countries.

* Mobile Commerce – consumer issues and policy challenges for a promising market


Mobile commerce is a promising market both for consumers and businesses. However, consumer troubles and complaints are increasing and can sometimes become serious, including issues for minors. Member countries’ experiences show that we should ensure that consumers benefit. In particular, countries may review their instruments with regard to a more effective scheme for information disclosure, liability protection over SIM and RFID cards, effective notice to excessive consumption, and the importance of consumer education. Businesses may also consider more effective consumer protection schemes.

See also the OECD  Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry


Consumer Policy 

The OECD Committee on Consumer Policy (CCP) works to increase trust in the global economy. It has a mandate to develop principles leading to a fair and transparent marketplace and seeks to ensure their effective implementation online and across borders.

Its current work focuses on building consumer confidence in the global economy through work on cross-border fraud and dispute resolution and redress; analysing the impact of new technologies and emerging business practices online; examining good practice in consumer policy regimes; and developing economic rationale for consumer policy. (More)

Cheers, people
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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