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Tackling deepfakes in European policy

30-07-2021

The emergence of a new generation of digitally manipulated media – also known as deepfakes – has generated substantial concerns about possible misuse. In response to these concerns, this report assesses the technical, societal and regulatory aspects of deepfakes. The rapid development and spread of deepfakes is taking place within the wider context of a changing media system. An assessment of the risks associated with deepfakes shows that they can be psychological, financial and societal in nature ...

The emergence of a new generation of digitally manipulated media – also known as deepfakes – has generated substantial concerns about possible misuse. In response to these concerns, this report assesses the technical, societal and regulatory aspects of deepfakes. The rapid development and spread of deepfakes is taking place within the wider context of a changing media system. An assessment of the risks associated with deepfakes shows that they can be psychological, financial and societal in nature, and their impacts can range from the individual to the societal level. The report identifies five dimensions of the deepfake lifecycle that policy-makers could take into account to prevent and address the adverse impacts of deepfakes. The report includes policy options under each of the five dimensions, which could be incorporated into the AI legislative framework, the digital service act package and beyond. A combination of measures will likely be necessary to limit the risks of deepfakes, while harnessing their potential.

Parlamendiväline autor

This study has been written by Mariëtte van Huijstee, Pieter van Boheemen and Djurre Das (Rathenau Institute, The Netherlands), Linda Nierling and Jutta Jahnel (Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany), Murat Karaboga (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Germany) and Martin Fatun (Technology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic - TC ASCR), with the assistance of Linda Kool (Rathenau Institute) and Joost Gerritsen (Legal Beetle), at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Guidelines for foresight-based policy analysis

26-07-2021

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider ...

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider stakeholder views and geographical concerns/differences when assessing policy options. This manual establishes the methodology for the foresight process and foresight-informed policy analysis. It offers a conceptual clarification of foresight and foresight-based technology assessment, helps enhance the transparency of foresight processes and the quality of policy analyses, offers four general guidelines for conducting trustworthy policy analysis, and, finally, provides a practical framework with six basic components for foresight-based policy analysis.

Health impact of 5G

22-07-2021

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report ...

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report aim to take stock of our present understanding of health effects of 5G.

Parlamendiväline autor

This study has been written by Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, BSC, PhD, International Academy of Toxicologic Pathology Fellow (IATPF), Ramazzini Institute, Bologna (Italy), at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. The scoping review search was performed by Dr Daria Sgargi, PhD, Master in Biostatistics, and Dr Andrea Vornoli, PhD in Cancer Research, Ramazzini Institute, Bologna.

At a glance note for Research for PECH committee: Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on EU fisheries and aquaculture

14-07-2021

This study analyses the effects of COVID-19 on the EU fisheries and aquaculture sectors from March to December 2020. It gives an overview of the main effects experienced at EU level and develops eight case studies (Spain, Denmark, France, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria). The research also provides conclusions and policy recommendations to strengthen the sector’s resilience to shocks, and to address current vulnerabilities in view of potential similar events. The study was commissioned ...

This study analyses the effects of COVID-19 on the EU fisheries and aquaculture sectors from March to December 2020. It gives an overview of the main effects experienced at EU level and develops eight case studies (Spain, Denmark, France, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria). The research also provides conclusions and policy recommendations to strengthen the sector’s resilience to shocks, and to address current vulnerabilities in view of potential similar events. The study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies, at the request of the PECH Committee.

Parlamendiväline autor

Cogea: Alessandro PITITTO, Diletta RAINONE, Valentina SANNINO AND International: Tanguy CHEVER, Lucas HERRY, Sibylle PARANT, Safa SOUIDI CETMAR: Marta BALLESTEROS, Rosa CHAPELA, José L. SANTIAGO

Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

12-07-2021

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. The new rules were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 17 May 2021. They will apply in principle to all international and domestic rail journeys and services in the EU from 7 June 2023. However, Member States may exempt domestic rail services for a limited time. Seventh edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Meeting the Green Deal objectives by alignment of technology and behaviour

09-07-2021

This study explores the prospects of aligning citizens' behaviour with the objectives of the European Green Deal in the domains of food consumption and mobility. Creating a climate-neutral and resource-efficient European economy requires a deep transformation of energy, mobility and food systems, as well as a change in production and consumption practices. Such profound change will impact both individuals and society. At the same time, the transition to sustainability will not succeed if people do ...

This study explores the prospects of aligning citizens' behaviour with the objectives of the European Green Deal in the domains of food consumption and mobility. Creating a climate-neutral and resource-efficient European economy requires a deep transformation of energy, mobility and food systems, as well as a change in production and consumption practices. Such profound change will impact both individuals and society. At the same time, the transition to sustainability will not succeed if people do not support it by adapting their behaviour and consumption patterns. This would imply change towards 'sustainable behaviour'. The study explores options for such sustainable behaviour, with a focus on mobility and food consumption. It identifies key challenges and possibilities in each domain and explores how technological solutions can help people adapt to sustainable behaviour in alignment with the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Parlamendiväline autor

This study has been written by Annika Hedberg (with the focus on food consumption), Said El Khadraoui (with the focus on mobility), and Vadim Kononenko (with the focus on understanding sustainable behaviour) at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Regulating targeted and behavioural advertising in digital services. How to ensure users’ informed consent.

01-07-2021

The study addresses the regulation of targeted and behavioural advertising in the context of digital services. Marketing methods and technologies deployed in behavioural and target advertising are presented. The EU law on consent to the processing of personal data is analysed, in connection with advertising practices. Ways of improving the quality of consent are discussed as well as ways of restricting its scope as a legal basis for the processing of personal data. This study is commissioned by ...

The study addresses the regulation of targeted and behavioural advertising in the context of digital services. Marketing methods and technologies deployed in behavioural and target advertising are presented. The EU law on consent to the processing of personal data is analysed, in connection with advertising practices. Ways of improving the quality of consent are discussed as well as ways of restricting its scope as a legal basis for the processing of personal data. This study is commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee.

Revision of Directive 2008/48/EC on credit agreements for consumers

30-06-2021

Directive 2008/48/EC on credit agreement for consumers (the CCD) is part of the legal framework tackling consumer protection and the development of the internal market. Despite improvements in enforcing consumer protection policy, there are shortcomings in particular regarding the scope of application of the directive and the uneven regulatory choices made in the 27 EU Member States for implementing it. Moreover, there are new challenges – such as digitalisation and data collection, use and processing ...

Directive 2008/48/EC on credit agreement for consumers (the CCD) is part of the legal framework tackling consumer protection and the development of the internal market. Despite improvements in enforcing consumer protection policy, there are shortcomings in particular regarding the scope of application of the directive and the uneven regulatory choices made in the 27 EU Member States for implementing it. Moreover, there are new challenges – such as digitalisation and data collection, use and processing – that require immediate attention. This implementation appraisal looks at the practical implementation of the CCD in light of the expected Commission proposal for its revision. According to the Commission work programme 2021, the proposal will be submitted in the second quarter of 2021, after having been initially part of the 2020 refit programme (see Legislative Train Schedule, EPRS).

Environmental impacts of 5G

30-06-2021

Telecommunication networks use radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to enable wireless communication. These networks have evolved over time, and have been launched in successive generations. The fifth generation of telecommunication networks will operate at frequencies that were not commonly used in previous generations, changing the exposure of wildlife to these waves. This report reviews the literature on the exposure of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants to radio-frequency electromagnetic ...

Telecommunication networks use radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to enable wireless communication. These networks have evolved over time, and have been launched in successive generations. The fifth generation of telecommunication networks will operate at frequencies that were not commonly used in previous generations, changing the exposure of wildlife to these waves. This report reviews the literature on the exposure of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields in anticipation of this change. The review shows that dielectric heating can occur at all considered frequencies (0.4-300 GHz) and for all studied organisms. Summarising and discussing the results of a series of studies of radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure of wildlife, the review shows that several studies into the effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure on invertebrates and plants in the frequency bands considered demonstrate experimental shortcomings. Furthermore, the literature on invertebrate and plant exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields above 6 GHz is very limited. More research is needed in this field.

Parlamendiväline autor

This study has been written by Arno Thielens, Ghent University, Belgium, at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Revision of the General Product Safety Directive

28-06-2021

Two decades after the entry into force of the General Product Safety Directive, the internal market is witnessing an increasing presence of products made with the use of or involving new technologies, online marketplaces are mushrooming, and a growing amount of products are entering the internal market from outside the European Union through these online marketplaces. Since the General Product Safety Directive does not have any provisions to guarantee that these products are safe for use, there are ...

Two decades after the entry into force of the General Product Safety Directive, the internal market is witnessing an increasing presence of products made with the use of or involving new technologies, online marketplaces are mushrooming, and a growing amount of products are entering the internal market from outside the European Union through these online marketplaces. Since the General Product Safety Directive does not have any provisions to guarantee that these products are safe for use, there are concerns that consumer protection on the internal market might be compromised. In order to keep guaranteeing the safety of all products, the European Commission's forthcoming proposal will aim to deal with these new challenges for product safety and to find a balance between ensuring unhindered trade and guaranteeing the safety of all products on the internal market.

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