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Viviane Reding

EU Parliament rubber-stamps 'irreversible' data protection reforms

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding scored an important victory in the European Parliament today after securing support for a rewrite of the 28-nation bloc's data protection laws. Proposed changes to the DP Regulation secured 371 politicos in favour, 10 against and 22 abstentions. Altogether 276 MEPs voted for the DP …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Mar 2014

Pinterest who? EU rules social network CAN'T trademark its own name

A trademark ruling in Europe could stop Pinterest from expanding onto the continent, as the EU's office rules that the company doesn't own the rights to the name "pinterest". The EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market has ruled against the crafts'n'cupcakes website, deciding that London-based social news aggregator …
Angry woman on mobile

Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Nearly half of European tourists say they would never use mobile internet in another EU country and over a quarter turn off their mobiles altogether over fears of monstrous phone bills when they get home. The European Commission, which is trying to get roaming charges abolished, surveyed 28,000 EU citizens and reckon that …
O2 XDA Argon

EU regulators quiz mobe industry over Hong Kong group's new bid

EU competition regulators are going to the mobile ISP industry with new concessions from Hong Kong firm Hutchison Whampoa, as it seeks approval for its $1bn bid for O2 Ireland. Sources whispered to Reuters that the conglomerate has offered the European Commission a new deal for Telefonica's Irish company after an initial …
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
A Dyson vacuum cleaner

Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

Brit inventor James Dyson is challenging the EU's labelling policy for hoovers in court, claiming that it doesn't do his vacuum cleaners justice. Dyson said that the EU's energy efficiency rating system was based on dust-free lab conditions that were completely different to the way that hoovers performed in the home. The firm is …

EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE

The US has until this summer to fix problems identified in the way an EU-US framework for the transfer of personal data between the regions operates, a senior EU official has said. Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that the EU-US "safe harbour" agreement would be suspended if the US fails to take "legislative …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Jan 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA. "NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US," said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in …
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014

Angela Merkel: Let US spies keep their internet. The EU will build its own

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lent her support to the idea of building out new European data networks to help keep Europeans' email and other data out of the hands of US spies. In the latest edition of her weekly podcast on Saturday, Merkel said she planned to raise the issue among other topics in a meeting with French …
Neil McAllister, 17 Feb 2014

GSMA: EU net neutrality reforms are the enemy of business

Proposed reforms designed to ensure net neutrality across the European Union will hinder innovation to the detriment of businesses and consumers, according to a leading global mobile operators' association. The GSMA, which represents almost 800 mobile operators worldwide, said that EU proposals to prevent internet service …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Mar 2014

Italy's 'Google tax law' could fall foul of EU discrimination rules

The European Commission has warned that Italy's proposed "Google tax law" would likely break European Union rules on non-discrimination, Reuters reported. The Italian government first floated the idea of the law last month, which became known as the "Google tax law" for what is seen its obvious target. The rule would require any …
Photograph 12

EU pulls out antitrust probe, prods Euro pay-TV contracts

The EU is launching an anti-competition probe of major Hollywood studios and Europe's biggest pay-TV networks over their exclusive licensing deals. The European Commission's antitrust division said it was looking into the territorially exclusive contracts to see if they stopped broadcasters from being able to offer their …
Apple iPod Classic

EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

In a move that'll be cheered by phone users the world over, the European Union has decided that mobile phones should have a standard charger plug. In a unanimous vote, the EU's Internal Market Committee decided that there's no good reason the charger should be treated as a proprietary secret. As German MEP Barbera Weiler put it …
fingers pointing at man

Data Retention Directive CLASHES with EU citizens' privacy rights, says top lawman

A seven-year-old EU directive that requires telecoms outfits to retain details of phone calls and emails - such as traffic and location - clashes with the 28-member bloc's privacy rights for citizens, a Court of Justice Advocate General has said. Pedro Cruz Villalón believes that the 2006 data retention directive "constitutes a …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2013

MEPs demand answers from EU antitrust chief about planned Google search biz deal

MEPs have asked Brussels' competition boss Joaquin Almunia to explain to the European parliament why he thinks that a planned settlement deal he recently struck with Google over its dominant search biz in Europe is good enough to address concerns about the ad giant's alleged abusive tactics. In a letter – seen by The Register – …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Feb 2014
euros_channel_money

EU hunts down online cross-border lawbook bureaucra-snaggles

The European Commission is to conduct an "in-depth review" of the risks present in conflicting laws and jurisdictions that apply online. The Commission made the announcement in a new communication it issued last week on internet governance. The Commission identified "a number of contradictory legal decisions" that have been …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2014

Telcos can be forced to turn copyright cop, block websites – EU law man

ISPs across Europe can be instructed to block websites that provide access to pirated material, an EU advocate general said in a non-binding court opinion published yesterday. Pedro Cruz Villalón said that telcos can be ordered to, in effect, operate as buffers between their subscribers and site operators who infringe copyright …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Nov 2013

Meta search engines may infringe database rights: EU Court of Justice

Operators of websites in the EU that allow users to search for content on other sites and then display the information on their own site may be in breach of intellectual property laws as a result of a recent ruling by the EU's highest court. In a judgment issued last month, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) said that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jan 2014
Pile of mobiles

EU delays vote on roaming, open internet after TRANSLATION fail

The European Parliament's industry committee has postponed a vote on putting an end to roaming charges across the EU by 2015 and ensuring that telcos don't get to charge companies like Google to pay for faster interwebs. The Industry, Research and Energy committee (ITRE) was due to vote on a legislative report on roaming charges …
Thibaut_Kleiner

EU network tech boss: Europe to take the lead on 5G (thanks, Huawei)

At the 5G@Europe Summit on Monday, Brussels networking czar Thibaut Kleiner said that Europe will "lead" the way with 5G, and that this will mean growth in the IT sector and the economy at large. The Munich event was heavily sponsored by Huawei and while panel members included representatives from French telecom and networking …
Simon Rockman, 11 Feb 2014

Google strikes deal with EU competition chief over abuse of search dominance claims

Google has secured a settlement deal with the competition wing of the European Commission over its alleged abuse of the EU's search market that will be legal-binding for five years. The ad giant has attempted to reach such an agreement several times, only to be knocked back by antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia. But today, …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2014
Great Wall of China

You can't have that many! China scuppers US, EU tech tariff talks

The EU and the US have accused China of continuing to block attempts to get rid of trade tariffs on technology goods by asking for far too many exclusions. The various governments have been discussing the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where China has been trying the …
management regulation2

EU agrees to make documents available to support anti-cartel suits

Companies and individuals affected by cartel activity in Europe will gain access to vital documents to help sue for damages under new proposals which the European Commission says will ensure they "can obtain the evidence necessary to prove their claims". MEPs and European Council representatives agreed the terms on the proposed …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Mar 2014
EU Bods look to future of UHF

EU eyes UHF spectrum: What do you think, biz bods... broadband?

The European Union has formed a new advisory group to work out what the future uses of the UHF spectrum band (470-790MHz) should be. And the list of representatives to the board reflects a more political than technical take on this, with company presidents and director generals listed rather than CTOs. The advisory group will be …
Simon Rockman, 17 Jan 2014

EU Justice Department stalls India's security clearance

India’s outsourcing giants are likely to face more delays in their frustrated bid to tap a potential IT services market worth $30 billion, after a report emerged suggesting the EU still has big data security concerns with the country. The EU and India have been trying to finalise their Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Jun 2013

Cameron on EU data protection rules rewrite: 'Hold it so we get it right'

Britain's Prime Minister insisted today that he had successfully put a stop to Brussels' vice president placing what one Downing Street source told The Register would be an artificial date on the rewrite of Europe's 18-year-old data protection law. David Cameron - in response to a question from Labour leader Ed Miliband - said …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2013

EU digital tsar 'Steelie' Neelie Kroes: Telcos must adapt to losing roaming cash

Europe's digital tsar Neelie Kroes has been defending her call for greater integration of telcos across Europe, and appears to be arguing that what she described as "artificial" lowered roaming revenues should not hinder the telcos' greater investment in European infrastructure. Neelie's plan is to get rid roaming charges across …
Bill Ray, 09 Oct 2013
Donkey alive and well on Street View

'Donkey-tugging' EU data protection law backed by MEPs

MEPs voted for an overhaul to existing data protection laws in Europe late yesterday, after the parliament's civil liberties committee made nearly 4,000 amendments to Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's draft bill. The lawmakers, in recent months, have been lobbying for tougher controls in the wake of the PRISM/NSA scandal. …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Oct 2013
European Union Flag

Steelie Neelie bangs cloudy Euro heads together with EU-wide conduct code

The EU has assembled the clearest cloudy minds known to humanity - on this side of the Atlantic, anyway - to work on a code of conduct that gives small biz customers more comfort in signing up to fluffy white tech services. “Steelie” Neelie Kroes, vee pee of the EC, seems to think the cloud will generate 2.5 million new regional …
Paul Kunert, 29 Oct 2013

Shambolic search for new head of EU privacy watchdog halted

A seven-month long search for a new European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has ended chaotically, after five candidates who were shortlisted for the job failed to meet Brussels' strict criteria, The Register has learned. It means that the posts that are currently held by Peter Hustinx and his deputy Giovanni Buttarelli will …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014

Steelie Neelie: EU biz can use YOUR private data WITHOUT PERMISSION

Businesses should be allowed to process part-anonymised, or pseudonymised, data without the consent of individuals whose data it is in certain circumstances, a senior EU official has said. Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, said that companies should be able to process pseudonymised data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Yes, maybe we should keep hackers in the clink for YEARS, mulls EU

The EU is pushing through a directive calling for harsher criminal penalties against convicted hackers. The proposed rules (PDF) set a baseline sentence of two years' imprisonment in cases where hacks are carried out with the intent to cause serious harm, involve circumventing security measures and where no attempt is made to …
John Leyden, 11 Jun 2013

EU legal eagle Legal: Data protection reforms 'very bad outcome' for citizens

Attempts by Brussels' Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding to rewrite Europe's 18-year-old data protection law ahead of 2014's EU elections took a significant knock on Friday, after a key tenet of the proposed rules faced surprise objections on human rights grounds. The European Commission's vice president, who first tabled the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Dec 2013
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

The European Commission is planning to scrap all roaming charges across the Continent as part of its efforts to turn the telecoms market into a single market across all EU countries. Announcing the proposed changes, the EC said they'd be good for everyone, reducing red tape for companies and letting them expand across borders, …
Google Toilet Paper

Google will dodge EU MONSTER FINES by 'promoting' rival search services

Complainants in the lengthy EU Google case might characterise the Brussels' antitrust chief's decision to reach a settlement deal with the ad giant as caving in to a company whose dominance in search, they claim, stifles competition in the 28-member state bloc. But, for Joaquin Almunia, the battle is now drawing to a close after …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Samsung: Psst, EU regulator. About that $17.3bn fine... let's talk

Samsung is in discussions with the EU about settling charges of anti-competitive behaviour against Apple, in order to slip the potential $17.3bn fine it faces if found guilty. The news comes from Reuters, which has been chatting to a couple of "people familiar with the matter" and discovered Samsung has opened negotiations …
Bill Ray, 26 Jun 2013

EU tsars rubbish Brit PM over attempt to delay beefed-up privacy rules

Sources close to EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding have dismissed reports suggesting her proposed overhaul to the bloc's data protection laws has been stalled, after Britain's Prime Minister appeared to have postponed the regulation. Late on Friday, the Financial Times reported that David Cameron had apparently convinced …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

EU wants the Swiss and pals to cough up IT giants' hidden bank info

Europe's finance ministers will start talks with five non-member states to close tax law loopholes exploited by tech multinationals - such as Google and Amazon. The ministers said they wanted to open up negotiations with European Free Trade Association members Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as with "tax haven" microstates …
credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-share alike http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Anonymous means NO identifying element left behind – EU handbook

A new handbook on European data protection laws contains a different test from the one used by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for determining whether data is personal or anonymised for the purposes of data protection law. The new handbook (214-page/3.08MB PDF) has been issued jointly by the European Union …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Feb 2014
European Union Flag

EU trade chief looks to reboot anti-dumping case against Huawei, ZTE

The EU's top trade investigator is going to try to get permission to probe Chinese telcos Huawei and ZTE, despite the fact that European firms like Ericsson refuse to complain about them. The European Commission, like US government officials, have been looking into Huawei and ZTE over alleged state subsidies that let them …

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

The European Union's plan to insist every new car on the road by 2015 includes a mobile device that phones home after a crash is set to become reality, after the European Commission signed off draft legislation to enact the scheme. Assent from the European Parliament and Council of the European Union is now required, but little …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

At last: EU slashes mobile roaming fees

From today the EU cap on roaming plunges down to €0.45 (38p) per MB, and €0.24 (21p) for a minute's conversation, but in another 12 months the very concept of roaming will change forever. The drops represent the first enforced data tariffs, although the EU has mandated drops in the cost of voice calls and SMSes since 2009. The …
Bill Ray, 01 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

EU crackdown will see tougher sentences for stupid cyber-badhats

The European Parliament has agreed to toughen criminal penalties across the EU for cyber attacks, especially any that threaten national infrastructure or are deemed to be aimed at stealing sensitive data. The new directive forces the 28 member states to impose national maximum sentences of at least two years in prison for trying …

ICO on beefed-up EU privacy rules: Biz bods will need 'explicit consent' to slurp data

Businesses can help ease the transition towards complying with new EU data protection rules by taking a number of steps now, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. In an ICO blog, Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said businesses can begin by reviewing their procedures for obtaining consent to the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Nov 2013
Manneken Pis statue, Brussels

Samsung proposes 'remedies' to EU antitrust chief in fine dodge hope

Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone vendor, has submitted a package of concessions to the competition wing of the European Commission in a move to try to offset a massive fine. The EU's antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia said during a speech in New York today that the South Korean electronics giant had "sent us a set of …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2013

Scottish leader splurged £20k appealing disclosure of EU membership legal bungle

Alex Salmond wasted £20,000 of public money trying to stop the Scottish Information Commissioner's Office from revealing that he'd not taken legal advice on a post-independence Scotland's eligibility for European Union membership. The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader used taxpayers' cash to fund a Court of …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Oct 2013
The European flag

New EU rules: Telco only SOMETIMES has to tell you it spaffed your data

New rules setting out the circumstances in which telecoms companies need to report personal data breaches, as well as the kind of information they need to share in those reports, have come into force. The EU's Regulation on the notification of personal data breaches (7-page/756KB PDF) applies to all providers of publicly …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Ex-ICO: Draft EU privacy rules will turn every citizen 'into a liar'

Britain's Information Commissioner wants the force of the European Data Protection Directive to fall on rogues, not on businesses which already face mountains of paperwork. That's the message that Chris Graham will be taking to Europe when he goes there to hash out a compromise on the new European Data Protection Directive …
Anna Leach, 06 Feb 2013

Google tired of endless AGONY over alleged EU search biz abuse

Google is itching to wind things up with the European Commission over claims that the ad giant stifled the online search market within the European Union. Google's rivals have been granted just four weeks to scrutinise a revised package of concessions that Google recently laid before competition officials in Brussels. However, …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Oct 2013
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob

The company behind the wildly successful Candy Crush Saga mobile games franchise already has its mitts on the European trademark for the word "candy" and is now awaiting approval for its application for the same thing in the US. "We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2014