Overcoming complacency in Bablion

In Bablion, we trust… nothing.

Online legislation and self-regulation are critical factors to unchaining the Romanian online and interactive industry from various factors in current performance disappointments. The complacency of industry members must be overcome– however unlikely such a thing would be for Romanians. In Bablion, re-education can be challenging.


HR 1525

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 1525, the Internet Spyware Prevention Act of 2007 (I-SPY Act). It may provide the authority and resources to law enforcement agencies to wage war on spyware. The European Union and elsewhere is likely to follow the Americans with similar legislation. And this is something that will strengthen the digital industry and market– where the law has reach.

Unfortunately, the Romanian government does not seem to be doing much regarding online legislation—especially on issues of privacy, spam and information theft. Likewise, Romanian interactive industry members seem to be reluctant to invest in an industry-wide course of self-regulation. However, I believe that we will overcome the present complacency. We will overcome complacency because it is in our business interest to see growth and new investment in the interactive and online industry in Romania.

Spyware, malware and Spam

Spyware, malware and spam? I prefer to call the this set of nasties, “Kew,” which comes from the great Russian sci-fi classic, Kin-Dza-Dza. Kew intrude upon our privacy, property and identity. Worse, Ku could threaten the near future sustainability and growth of the Romanian e-economy. Although computer ownership and internet access continues to increase across Romania, the proliferation of Kew impedes the use and access of the internet by new computer users.

On the flip side, Kew wouldnt happen if it didn’t produce results. Infact, Kew provide valuable (albeit, illegal) information assets and opportunities that may seem critical to the business performance of ambitious online advertising agencies and publishers who face fierce local competition.

Unfortunately, Kew will only get worse. It will continue to provide competitive advantages to those who need or desire such advantages. Kew will extend to cars, mobile phones and, someday soon, toasters. It will follow innovation wherever innovation happens. Kew will become more sophisticated and and it will jump from channel to channel (mobile phone, computer, car, mp3 player, etc.).

Online Legislation in Romania

Generally speaking, there is a lack of effective legislation and prosecution in Romania. Romanian legislators must develop a philosophy of law that includes the assumption that great legislation must be timely and effective. And it must represent informed and well considered public policy.

Future online legislation must also provide a delicate balance between consumer and public protection without interfering with small and large business interests– especially those that support the richness of the massively vast offer of free or affordable online communications, content and services that people get excited about.

Again, online legislation (any legislation for that matter) must provide for its public notice as well as its enforcement. Law enforcement and judiciary agencies will need education, resources and human resources to give life to laws. As the Roman philosopher Thomas Aquinas suggested more than a thousand years ago, the law cannot be effective unless it is noticed and enforced.

Industry Self-regulation

Getting great online legislation to happen in Romania will take time. Slowly, slowy, we say here. In the meantime, digital industry members must embrace self-regulation and make it happen. It is in their own interest to safeguard the public from kew because computer and internet use is often disrupted by such. Kew has impact on their own delivery of content and advertising to consumers.

Eventually, industry and market will reject the accomplices and perpetrators of kew. Those who perpetrate or act as accomplices will be rejected for their unscrupulous business practices, lack of integrity and disregard for privacy.

Members of the Romanian online and interactive industry will do this through pledges to best practices, standards and ethical norms. More, they will refuse to do business with the wolves and they will warn their customers of the risks of working with them. Again, they will do this because it makes good business sense to them.

Members of the Romanian online and interactive industry will also embrace self-regulation because the alternative in the near term is uninformed legislators who enact laws that do more harm than good.

Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania

As I have explained to several top members of the Romanian online industry, one of the many things provided by the Interactive Advertising Burea (IAB) is… guidance and support for the development of industry-building self-regulation and public policy.

This is one important aspect of many for which I hope to provide leadership and strategic direction.

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Stan Faryna
May 25, 2007
Bucharest, Romania

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FEED UPON other popular posts by Stan Faryna:

>> Outsourcing
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About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is a member of the IAB European Leadership Council and National Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania. He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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