Articles about Eu

Business types walk around in a city centre square. Photo by Shutterstock

Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

The British public remains "clueless or indifferent" to smart cities, according to a report released by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). This is despite a government drive to champion smart cities and invest £50m in smart city technology to make urban areas more efficient and sustainable. In 2013, Glasgow …
Katyanna Quach, 05 May 2016

Steelie Neelie Kroes joins Uber as competition advisor

Controversial taxi app biz Uber has appointed former EU competition and telecoms regulator "Steelie" Neelie Kroes to advise it on, er, competition and regulation. No doubt Kroes' wealth of knowledge of the EU's reams of red tape will help the biz navigate the very regulators Uber has repeatedly butted heads with in the …
Kat Hall, 05 May 2016

Jobs in Ireland may be vulnerable at post merger Dell Technologies

When Dell completes its acquisition of EMC and its subsidiary VMware, the combined Dell Technologies will become one of the largest technology employers in Ireland. But with role duplication almost inevitably raising the spectre of job losses as the firms integrate, the elimination of product overlaps will also have a job …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2016
Smartphone user on Tube

Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU

EU telecoms providers must cut surcharges for 'roaming' phone calls and data use in EU countries from 30 April, in preparation for the complete abolition of roaming charges in June 2017. Until June 2017, telecoms providers will be allowed to charge up to five cents per minute on top of domestic prices, and up to two cents per …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 May 2016

EU set to bin €500 note

The European Central Bank (ECB) will likely agree today to stop production of the meaty €500 note, which has long been considered a handy tool for criminals wishing to do illicit transactions with cash wedges of manageable dimensions. According to the Wall Street Journal, the ECB's Governing Council will decide not to produce …
Lester Haines, 04 May 2016
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EU rejects vaping

UK firm loses legal challenge to the EU Tobacco Products Directive. E-cig merchant Totally Wicked argued that the latest revision of the TPD, which regulates liquids and e-cigarettes, is unlawful under EU law because it violates one of the EU’s “four pillars”: freedom of cross-border trade. TPD2 does ban distance selling of e …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 May 2016
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

The Lonely Pirate MEP's Holocaust copyright stunt backfires

Comment A tasteless attempt to recruit Holocaust victim Anne Frank to the case of weakening European copyright protection has backfired on the EU's only Pirate Party MP, Julia Reda. On WIPO’s World IP Day last week, copyfighter Reda tweeted that she was “trying to read Anne Frank’s Diary” but couldn’t because of copyright terms. …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 May 2016

How 'flexible' can the UK actually be on EU data protection law?

If EU member states can, by law, exercise legislative “flexibility” when implementing 50+ Articles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), how can the regulation ever become harmonised across European Union? Pose this important question another way: given that the UK government intends to use legislative flexibility …

Greenpeace leaks TTIP texts, reveals strained negotiations

The controversial EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty text has been leaked to Greenpeace. The documents have been posted at www.ttip-leaks.org, and in the main they've been picked over for their impact on environmental regulation. On that topic, European commentators are hitting the roof, …

The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

Analysis The EU’s enquiry into online plantations platforms will recommend a hands-off approach that will delight Silicon Valley. A draft of the enquiry was leaked this week. The study, part of the EU's Digital Single Market wheeze, also sneaks in one of the EU bureaucrats' top favourite obsessions: national ID cards. You shouldn't be …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016
Bike jumper, image Christian Bertrand courtesy Shutterstock

Ireland's tech sector fears fallout of Brexit 'Yes' vote

The Republic of Ireland’s IT industry would be damaged if its second-biggest trading partner Britain left the European Union. Firms are concerned about the impact on exports - particularly if the British economy and sterling hit the skids. Some think Ireland could benefit from international firms wanting an English-speaking …
SA Mathieson, 29 Apr 2016

E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians has issued a report strongly critical of “public health” scolds, such as GPs and EU officials, who want the use of e-cigarettes of restricted. These anti-vaping crusaders are costing lives, the venerable institution warns, as encouraging e-cigarettes is the most effective tobacco control …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2016
Lots of 3D printing and clever tech

German prof scores €2.4m EU grant to crack software on your bicycle

A computer science professor has landed a €2.4m EU research grant to crack open embedded software on... e-bikes. Holger Hermanns, of the University of Saarland, Germany, will investigate embedded software in batteries used in e-bikes, increasingly popular among City types. Hermanns chose e-bike batteries for “safety reasons …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Apr 2016

Why has Microsoft stopped being beastly to Google?

Analysis "You can't deprive a gangster of his gun" – Noel Coward Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees things differently from his predecessor Steve Ballmer. And one of the first thing Nadella saw differently is Microsoft’s relationship to Google. On assuming the hot seat, he couldn’t understand why Microsoft was obviously at war with …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016
Shouting match

Blighty's SMB tech ranks bitterly divided on Brexit

Britain’s membership of the EU has small tech firms divided. A survey of owner-managed businesses by accountant Moore Stephens found 60 per cent of SME owners would vote to stay in the EU with less than one-in-five (17 per cent) supporting Brexit. Mark Lamb, a partner at the firm, said: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned …
Marcus Gibson, 27 Apr 2016
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Getty Images flings competition sueball at Google Image Search

Getty Images has announced it will file a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission. The photo library's beef with Google is that in 2013 it changed its image search service so that it instead of displaying thumbnail images users were instead offered “high res large-format content.” That change, …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

IBM has left UK staff in no doubt it wants Britain to remain in the European Union even though many of those working in its services division might not be EU-based by the end of 2017. In February, Big Blue was one of 200 large firms across a range of industries that urged Brits to vote to stay in the Union, claiming a "Brexit …
Paul Kunert, 26 Apr 2016
Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May. Photo by Twocoms/Shutterstock.com

Remain in the EU and help me snoop on the world, says Theresa May

Brexit would harm the UK's snooping apparatus, Home Secretary Theresa May argued in a speech today, suggesting we probably ought to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) instead. Speaking at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers this morning, the snooping-obsessed Home Secretary presented the many surveillance …
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BlackBerry is pivoting from phones to enterprise software

Interview BlackBerry’s purchase of rival Good has begun to convince people it can make the big shift from phones to enterprise software. The company’s global sales chief Carl Wiese shared his view of the post-Snowden, post-Schrems landscape with The Register. “On conference calls last year almost all of the questions from financial …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Apr 2016
Don Draper is Sad

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Websites that detect ad-blockers to stop their users from reading webpages could be illegal under European law. Alexander Hanff, a privacy campaigner and programmer, says he has received a letter from the European Commission confirming that browser-side web scripts that pick out advert blockers access people's personal data ( …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2016
Peace in our time?

Microsoft, Google bury hatchet – surprisingly, not in each other

Microsoft and Google have agreed to sort their issues out between themselves rather than getting state regulators to investigate each other's actions. "Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities," Redmond said in a statement to El Reg. "We will continue …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2016
Steve Wozniak

Woz says 'Jobs started Apple for money' – then says it must pay 50% tax like he does

Steve Wozniak has spoken out against Apple's tax affairs, saying all companies ought to pay 50 per cent in taxes. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live he said: "I don't like the idea that Apple might be unfair - not paying taxes the way I do as a person. "I do a lot of work, I do a lot of travel and I pay over 50 per cent of anything …
Kat Hall, 22 Apr 2016
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Not OK, Google! FTC urged to thrust antitrust probe into Android

Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is calling on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to follow the European Union's lead and bring antitrust charges against Google Android. The group said that following the European Commission's statement of objections this week against the Chocolate Factory, it would like to see the FTC put …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2016

Tweak Privacy Shield rules to make people happy? Nah – US govt

The US government has poured cold water on the idea of making changes to the new Privacy Shield agreement that will cover transfers of people's private data between the US and Europe, potentially putting the entire agreement at risk. Under secretary of commerce for international trade, Stefan Selig, told Reuters that the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2016

Prof squints at Google's mobile monopoly defence, shakes head

Analysis Google says that its tight control over Android is necessary to keep Android great, and safe for consumers, adding that it's not all that heavy-handed. Honest. Google feels hard done by because it has created a market of alternatives to Apple’s costly and proprietary iPhone, and that ecosystem benefits consumers. There’s no …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016
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GitLab offers Digital Ocean to soak up customers' CI burden

GitLab has struck a deal with Digital Ocean to offer autoscaling to ease the build and test bottleneck associated with Continuous Integration. GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said the advent of CI has necessitated more and more testing, and provisioning the machines needed for this has become more and more expensive and time- …
Joe Fay, 20 Apr 2016
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Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

The EU's competition authority thinks it has a smoking gun against Google. Consumers suffered because Google’s contracts with phone OEMs prevented the market from creating a better Android, the EU Commission alleged today. It has sent a formal Statement of Objections to Google that forces Google to come up with remedies or …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016

Google warned by EU

Google abuses its dominant market position, according to EU antitrust folk. In a Statement of Objections addressed to Google and its parent company Alphabet, the European Commission has warned the advertising giant over imposing restrictions on Android device manufactureers and mobile network operators, and is thus in breach …

Europe's digi-boss tells YouTube to cough up proper music royalties

The European Union's digital chief has told YouTube that it needs to start compensating copyright owners properly. Andrus Ansip is currently updating Europe's copyright rules and spoke publicly about how the Google-owned video site was providing far less to copyright owners than competing services such as Spotify. "This is …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2016
European flag with sad face

EU: We're splashing out €6.7bn on a giant scientific cloud

The EU is launching a €6.7bn (£5.3bn) mega “science cloud”, intended to better exploit the continent's academic research via big data. According to a press release from the European Commission, the EU is the "largest producer of scientific data in the world, but insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' …
Kat Hall, 19 Apr 2016
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

Analysis Google structures its entire organisation to avoid privacy laws, minimise taxes and de-risk itself from competition oversight*. Today Google’s European supremo hinted that being in China might be less of a hassle, and that losing Google would serve us Europeans right for being so backward. Of course, it’s a sheer coincidence …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Apr 2016

European Union set to release anti-competition hounds on Google

The European Union looks to be formulating plans to charge Google with anti-competitive conduct over the Android operating system. The move coincides with a flank attack on Google, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp filing a complaint about the legality of the Alphabet subsidiary's search and news services. The grounds for the …
European flag with sad face

Brexit would pinch UK tech spend but the EU wouldn't care – survey

If the United Kingdom chooses to leave the European Union – a so-called “Brexit” - Europe's information technology industries would not bat an eyelid and IT spending in the sceptred isles would only experience a “mildly negative” dip. That's the consensus opinion to which analyst outfit IDC is putting its name after polling …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2016

EU Android probe looms

Europe's monopoly watchdogs could be on the verge of publishing a formal complaint against Google over Android's dominance on the continent. Google's critics have been given just 24 hours to strip any sensitive business information from their submitted gripes about the mobile operating system, according to Bloomberg. These …
Chris Williams, 14 Apr 2016
Man on bicycle talks on mobile on busy Brussels street. Photo by Alredo Cerra via Shutterstock

Europe's new privacy safeguards are finally approved, must invade EU nations by 2018

Analysis The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been ratified by the European Parliament. The final seal of approval follows successful passage through the EU Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Following four years of discussions and amendments, the GDPR is now officially EU law and will …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2016

Database of patent licence terms could help resolve FRAND disputes, says expert

Making the terms on which patents are licensed available for public scrutiny could help businesses, courts and regulators determine if the terms of other patent agreements are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), an expert in valuing intellectual property (IP) has said. Dr Roya Ghafele, director of Oxfirst, told …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Apr 2016
FAIL scrabble by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffdjevdet/ CC 2.0 attribution generic

Euro watchdogs give America's data-sharing Privacy Shield an 'F'

Europe's data protection authorities have graded the new Privacy Shield agreement that covers data sharing between the US and Europe a fail. In a formal response [PDF] published Wednesday by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, the influential group outlined a number of serious concerns about the agreement, including …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2016
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Tweak privacy plan – EU

Data protection bods from the EU want more tweaks to Privacy Shield. The Article 29 Working Group, representing the views of the information commissioners in each EU member state, welcomed the Privacy Shield as a “major improvement” on the old Safe Harbour data protection agreements, which cover flows of personal data between …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Apr 2016
Iron Giant

Box and Dropbox seek expansion via IBM, AWS – and Facebook

Rival file sharing services Box and Dropbox are gunning for massive expansion by exploiting the huge scale of IBM, Amazon’s AWS – and of Facebook. Box has announced Box Zone, storage by geographical location, using the data centres of AWS and IBM. The company has pressed the button on instant international rollouts through …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Apr 2016
BT Openreach at work

Ofcom promises to have details on duct and pole access by summer

The communications regulator Ofcom has promised to release more details on how it intends to give BT's competitors greater access to Openreach's poles and ducts by the summer. The details follow Ofcom's decision in February in the once-in-a-decade Digital Communications Review to open up BT's network of telegraph poles and …
Kat Hall, 12 Apr 2016
Three store maidenhead

Ofcom wants you to thank it for resurrecting the spectre of BT's 1980s monopoly

Comment Years ago, we used to mock Ofcom for its Ofcom-branded bottled water, and its tediously technocratic “evidence based” approach, something which is actually enshrined in the 2002 Act that created it. Throughout its first decade, Ofcom chief execs stood regally above the fray, knowing that a regulator’s decision must be …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

EC cooking up rules change for aggressive tax avoiders

The European Commission is reported to be updating its planned rules for tackling aggressive tax planning. Brussels’ legislators are understood to be updating existing tax plans that would force companies to say where their money is held. Under the proposed rules, firms operating in EU member states with a turnover of more …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Apr 2016
Illustration of a man with a beard reading a tablet

Privacy Shield in doubt

Privacy Shield – the new US-EU agreement on sharing people's personal information – may be in doubt after the German privacy agency said the pact does not include sufficient protections. A document was posted on the agency's website noting that it was "not yet in a position to confirm that the current draft adequacy decision …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Apr 2016
Rosetta's view of Earth on March 5th, 2005

Microsoft Privacy Shield

Microsoft is the first big US tech firm to replace the Safe Harbour rules. The software giant will sign Privacy Shield, the successor to the sunk Safe Harbor data protection agreement, and has promised “new commitments to advance privacy.” Microsoft says it will respond to complaints from individuals within 45 days and …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Three to chop off £3bn of its network in bid to woo EU over O2 merger

Three UK is making a last-ditch attempt to win EU approval of its £10.25bn O2 merger with a number of sweeteners, including £3bn in network deals with competitors, according to reports. According to The Telegraph, Three's owner, CK Hutchison, has signed deals with Virgin and Sky that will guarantee space on its expanded mobile …
Kat Hall, 07 Apr 2016
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Google Euro-cloud glitch

European users of Google's BigQuery had a fretful Wednesday, as the cloud aspirant's service experienced a lengthy partial inability to support optimal performance (PITSTOP). Google says the problem was something to do with “streaming inserts to datasets located in the EU.” For a while, data landed in the service but that wasn …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2016

Apple faces €48.5m fine from furious French

Apple is reportedly facing a €48.5m (US$55.3m) suit claiming it violated anti-trust rules in France. A report from the local BFM Business [in French] claims that the Cupertino electronics giant leveraged French mobile phone carriers into deals that were unfairly weighted in Apple's favor. The report claims the nation's …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Apr 2016

EU pushes probe up Google's ad alley

The European Union (EU) is pushing forward with its probe into Google/Alphabet's dominance of the online ad market, with the commissioner in charge suggesting formal charges are on the way. Margrethe Vestager spoke to The Wall Street Journal the day before getting on a plane to visit the US, and said her team was "advancing" …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Apr 2016

Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

UK hydrogen-powered car outfit Riversimple is inviting investors to open their wallets and buy into what it considers to be the future of four-wheeled transport: the "revolutionary" gas-driven Rasa. A side view of the Rasa The Wales-based company unveiled its prototype Rasa (as in "tabula rasa") back in February. It claims …
Lester Haines, 05 Apr 2016

Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

Two reports by privacy campaigners into mobile and Wi-Fi services' location tracking activities have revealed practices of questionable legality and security. The studies found that “at best, companies are fulfilling the minimal legal requirements, and at worst could breaking the law and breaching our right to privacy.” The …