KTN's online platform helps you to make the connections you need

 

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has refreshed its online platform to intelligently connect you to relevant events, funding, thought pieces and specialist staff to help your business innovate and grow.

You can discover content using your area of interest, from ICT to transport; from space to health – all major UK economic sectors are covered. Once you have selected your interests, using our intelligent tagging system, we will then display rich and relevant content related to your area, often from surprising sources.

An example might be new satellite technology from the space sector that is applicable in the agri-food sector. KTN-UK.co.uk will help you form these unusual and valuable connections.

All content on the platform has been carefully curated by our team of innovation specialists – not by an automated algorithm – so you can be confident that KTN is connecting you to the most relevant cutting-edge information.

 

The move also marks a closer alignment with our main funder, Innovate UK , with the website branding making a clear visual link. Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK's innovation network partner, and also works with other funders to provide innovation networking services and fulfil our mission to drive UK growth.

We link new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines expertise in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries. Connecting with KTN can lead to potential partners, horizon-expanding events and innovation insights relevant to your needs.

Visit our people pages to connect directly with expertise in your sector.

Visit the KTN refreshed online platfom here

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Online privacy: why consistency counts

Guest post, by Martin Whitehead, Director of GSMA Europe

Privacy is something many people care deeply about across all aspects of their lives. In Europe, policy makers have sought to protect privacy by putting in place some of the most stringent data protection rules in the world. But these rules are being rapidly outpaced by changes in technology and business models, the globalisation of services and a world of apps. 

 

The EU’s existing data protection rules were developed in the mid-90s when we weren’t so globally connected and when policy makers felt you could address privacy by regulating technology infrastructure, such as mobile networks. It was a time when the Internet was just taking off and people connected to the web via their desktop PCs. It’s a very different world today where mobile is central to connectivity and where a complex ecosystem of different players capture and use a range of personal information about people and their devices in real time. However, in this new connected world, online privacy in the EU is still regulated by a co-existing set of rules that is in places contradictory and that can ultimately be detrimental to consumers and businesses.

 

In January, the European Commission presented its proposal for a sweeping overhaul of data protection rules that have been in place since 1995. There would be one set of rules under one regulation. While this review was long overdue, and while one regulation is most certainly welcome, policy makers are only now becoming aware that the proposed regulation is in many ways inconsistent with another set of existing e-Privacy rules. These e-Privacy rules don’t apply in the same way to Internet services as they do to mobile communications services, which were viewed as presenting risks to privacy in the mid-1990s when they were first introduced. For example, the e-Privacy rules apply to cellular location data and traffic data processed by mobile networks, but not to equivalent GPS or WLAN location data, or VOIP or online traffic data processed by Internet players. Why should there be this discrepancy if one of the objectives of the current review is to make it easier for individuals to understand and manage their privacy? 

 

While policy makers may have felt specific telecom privacy rules were justified in the past, regulating telecoms infrastructure no longer seems appropriate in an age of immediate and global connectivity and data flows. It is clear that whatever rules are deemed necessary to help protect the privacy of individuals, they need to apply equally to all parties in a technology and service-neutral way. We shouldn’t expect users to understand that different rules apply to functionally equivalent services delivered via different technologies. Consistency in privacy experiences will help raise people’s awareness that an app or service has privacy implications and that they need to make choices. Consistency in law will also make it easier for business to meet users’ privacy interests as well as their legal obligations.

  

We believe that consistency in law is not only vital for users, but also in avoiding the competitive disadvantages of dual compliance regimes. Surprisingly, this discrepancy has so far not received much attention amongst policy makers, even though Europe’s data protection watchdog, the Article 29 Working Party, last year issued an opinion on this gap in the existing legislation.

 

The revamping of the existing European data protection framework provides policy makers with an unprecedented opportunity to address these issues and create a harmonised and consistent set of rules that puts the individual at its heart. We need to think about how we can make it easier for individuals to understand and manage their privacy, irrespective of the technology they use, where a service is provided from, or where their data is processed. Without this, it is doubtful we can create a culture of trust necessary for driving economic growth – growth that is increasingly dependent on online activities and the mobile technologies underpinning these. There is now an opportunity for Europe to lead the way in making smart strategic policy choices for consumers and businesses alike.

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