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ISSUE 49 page 8

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Sites of Interest


Web sites and reports mentioned on this page are available at:
 ETUC-CES YouTube channel
 ETUC-CES Flickr photostream
 Etuces Twitter page
 eYou Guide
New eYouGuide sets out your ‘digital rights’
Facebook posts lead to sack for Swedish workers
A NEW WEB SITE MAINTAINED BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION aims to help internet users who stand confused at the intersection of technology and the law. The ‘eYou Guide’, which has recently been made available in ten languages, aims to answer questions on your rights online and ‘is meant as a tool to improve consumers' awareness and confidence in the digital environment’. Topics covered include ‘Privacy, safety and security’, ‘Advertising & offers’, Copyright & Intellectual Property Rights, ‘Disabled, Older people’ and ‘Taking action, redress’. Most of the site takes the form of example queries such as ‘Is it secure to upload personal information on a website?’. These are sorted under the topic headings mentioned above, by actions like ‘Internet services & Email’, ‘Online shopping and payments’, ‘Filesharing, networking and blogging’ and ‘TV/video online & games online’, and according to a keywords list. There is also a copyright manual and a glossary of technical terms.

SOCIAL NETWORK WEB SITE FACEBOOK has been accused of eroding personal privacy and the fate of two workers in Sweden would seem to serve as a warning of how it can mix up work life and private life to the detriment of both. An employee at a McDonald’s restaurant in Örebro detailed her dissatisfactions with her workplace on her Facebook page but, unfortunately, the entry was seen by her boss. This indiscretion was enough for the line manager, Andreas Kenson, who summarily sacked the woman. To add insult to injury Mr. Kenson was also a Facebook fan and posted his account of the dismissal on his own page. None of this impressed Malin Ackholts, an official of the hotel and restaurant workers’ union (HRF), who complained of ‘poor judgment’ by the supervisor who had not followed laws and collective agreements, while admitting that employees’ grievances should be taken directly to employers rather than published online.
A week later the curse of Facebook struck again in Sweden when a temporary nursery assistant near Stockholm unexpectedly had his contract terminated. Parents had accessed his Facebook page to find a photograph of him with a tattoo wearing a hat with the brand name ‘Pornstar’. Although the picture had not been taken at the nursery, owner Peter Wallebo insisted it was not enough for it to be removed and sacked Mats Mügge who has complained to the country’s Equality Ombudsman.

Non A-Z languages reach top level of net
ETUC info caught in the social net
THE .eu INTERNET WEB PAGE ADDRESS HAS been around for four years now and the domain names registered ending with .eu have now topped the 3 million mark. It is most popular in Germany which has registered over 900,000 .eus followed by the Netherlands, the UK and France. Now those countries which don’t use the A to Z Latin alphabet to will be able to register such addresses as  www.διαδίκτυο.eu and www.роуминг.eu (in the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets). All 23 official languages of the EU are now catered for so that Greek and Bulgarian speakers can recognise local web sites. According to outgoing Information Society
Commissioner Viviane Reding ‘Many internet users will come from countries where most languages are not based on the “a to z” Latin script and they will naturally want to use their own scripts. The launch of international domain names under .eu will respond even better to the needs of a multilingual and multicultural Europe’..

FOLLOWING OUR ARTICLE IN THE LAST ISSUE on the conversion to Facebook and blogging of EU institutions we should mention a similar foray into social networking by their counterparts on the union side of the fence. The European Trade Union Confederation has had a presence on the photo-sharing web site ‘Flickr’, the video-uploader ‘YouTube’ and the real-time messaging network ‘Twitter’ since the summer. They have used their existing audiovisual gallery to fill up the first two while ‘tweets’ which must be shorter than 120 characters are utilised as a snappy way to link back to the main ETUC web site.

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