Articles about European Commission

STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Comment There are whispers circulating in the aether that if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA, then in a post-Brexit Britain, something akin to PrivacyShield can allow for adequate transfers of personal data to the UK. Such an “adequacy” determination would mean …
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Eurocrats to pore over Apache, KeePass code

The Apache HTTP server and KeePass password manager are to get a free code audit, courtesy of a pilot European Commission project. The EC-FOSSA (free and open source software auditing project) pilot was conceived by the European parliament in 2014, and given €1 million to work with. As well as code audits, it's got the …

Ingram Micro and Tianjin Tianhai: Go on, PROBE us

Ingram Micro and the Chinese logistics giant Tianjin Tianhai that wants to buy it confirmed they are to submit the proposed $6bn bid for review to the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States. This is an about-turn because Ingram - the world’s largest tech distributor - previously said the deal would not “fall …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
Symantec director government affairs Brian Fletcher (left) with Microsoft assistant general counsel Cristin Goodwin. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register.

Microsoft and pals re-write arms control pact to save infosec industry

Microsoft and a team of concerned engineers from across the security sector have joined forces to suggest a major re-write of the arms control pact the Wassenaar Arrangement, as they fear the document's terms are a threat tot he information security industry. The pitch is the result of brainstorming by the group to redefine …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
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UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
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Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

Digital music is a loss leader for tech giants, driving traffic to other parts of the plantation as they harvest personal data. But it’s creators who are carrying the loss. “Leaked” Spotify numbers suggest its maintaining an audience lead over Apple in the digital streaming business - but only by giving the music away for …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016
Man in helmet looks uncertain, holds up shield. Photo by Shutterstock

European Commission straps on Privacy Shield

The European Commission has this morning adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which will enter into force as soon as all member states are notified of the adequacy decision (PDF). Privacy Shield, which has been adopted after months of negotiations, is an agreement between the EU and the US which ostensibly ensures that …

Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

Interview Two American writers have attempted to grapple with the rise of “populism” exemplified by Donald Trump and Brexit, with both starting (if not finishing) from the Left. Both Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin both make uncomfortable reading for the complacent chatterati. Both …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2016
stack of newspapers with a pair of ethernet cables next to them

EU votes for Privacy Shield

The EU-US Privacy Shield agreement has been agreed by representatives of the EU's Member States. Privacy Shield was constructed as a replacement for the Safe Harbor agreement which covered the transfer of EU citizens' data to the US. Safe Harbor collapsed following legal action spurred by the Snowden revelations, which …

The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Special Report If the fMRI brain-scanning fad is well and truly over, then many fashionable intellectual ideas look like collateral damage, too. What might generously be called the “British intelligentsia” – our chattering classes – fell particularly hard for the promise that “new discoveries in brain science” had revealed a new …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jul 2016

Data protection, Brexit and campaigners: Privacy policy? Eh?

Were you phoned up by the Leave or Remain Campaigns on your ex-directory telephone number during the Referendum Campaign (probably in breach of PECR)? I was. If so, how did they get my number? How did one of the Campaigns, for example, know who was a Millwall fan so the caller from a Campaign gloated (sorry, I mean …
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Thank you for submitting a support request. You can put your clothes back on now. In another dimension, logging a call could involve a full invasive strip search. Or perhaps there’d be a sado-dimensional version of Zendesk in which, having determined that a user is raising frivolous issues, sends attitude-corrective electric …
Alistair Dabbs, 01 Jul 2016
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Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

BREXIT Scientists and politicans have called on the Brexit government to keep funding EU-backed projects at current rates or risk becoming a backwater. Nicola Blackwood, chair of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, urged the Brexit Government to move quickly to reassure scientists and their collaborators in the EU that the …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

¡Bong! I have always considered myself an internationalist. Expensive Swiss private school. Los Angeles rehab clinic. East London loft workspace and incubator. My assistant มาลัย (which means "Garland of Flowers" in Thai) is from somewhere in Indo-China. My refreshments are Colombian. I am a borderless child of John Perry Barlow, of …
Steve Bong, 10 Jun 2016

France POPs €800k fine on 'illegal taxi service' Uber's windshield

Uber has been slapped with a €800k fine by a French court today for its illegal POP taxi service. POP was suspended by Uber last year after the French government banned it after receiving pressure from licensed taxi drivers. Initially a French court bounced the decision upwards, but there the bouncing stopped, with Uber told …

Uber, AirBNB: Lay off 'em, EC tells member states

The European Commission wants member countries to apply a light regulatory touch to “collaborative economy platforms” such as Uber and AirBnB and to ban as a last resort only. The Commission thinks the new gig economy suppliers can make an important contribution to jobs and growth, if - our italics - they are “encouraged and …
Drew Cullen, 02 Jun 2016
The inflatable approaches a swell-lashed Rockall in 2003

Top EU data cop slams Safe Harbor replacement as inadequate

The EU's independent data protection supervisor has said that the proposed US-EU data sharing agreement, Privacy Shield, "is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny" and has refused to endorse it. "Significant improvements are needed should the European Commission wish to adopt an adequacy decision, to respect the …
His master's voice

EU bureaucrats claim credit for making 'illegal online hate speech' even more illegal

The European Commission has claimed the credit for getting Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to agree on a code of conduct which will address "illegal online hate speech", despite the companies already following practices demanded by EU bureaucrats. The three-page code of conduct (PDF) seeks to establish how online …

Are EU having a laugh? Europe passes hopeless cyber-commerce rules

Analysis The European Commission (EC) has approved a series of ecommerce rules designed to make Europe more competitive online. In true European fashion however, the proposals contain a lengthy series of inconsistent compromises and avoid altogether the most complex policy issues, making them largely worthless. Vice-President for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016
Photo by Guillaume Paumier

The Schmidt's hit by the fan: Alphabet investor sues Google bigwigs over EU antitrust ruckus

An Alphabet shareholder is suing company executives – including exec chairman Eric Schmidt, CEO Larry Page, and president Sergey Brin – for their roles in Google's EU antitrust case. Robert Jessup has filed suit [PDF] in a California state court against more than three dozen people, including the Google cofounders and long- …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016
Privacy image

Committees: Wait! Don't strap on the Privacy Shield yet

The revelations by rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden in 2013 caused indignant EU politicians to open a dialogue with the US government to update the data transfer regime to safeguard personal data. The Privacy Shield is the culmination of those discussions. The US's hands-off approach has always differed from the EU's …
Frank Jennings, 24 May 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Want a Brexit? Promise you'll sort out UK universities' £1bn research cash loss

Leaving the EU could mean UK universities lose a whopping £1bn research funding, according to report released by Digital Science today. Academics have already warned the UK that leaving the EU would hinder research. A letter to The Times was signed by more than 150 fellows from the Royal Society - including Stephen Hawking - …
Katyanna Quach, 18 May 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have nailed their colours to the EU mast as UK government applies pressure on firms to encourage employees, customers and channel people to support the Remain camp. UK CEO Michel Van der Bel at Microsoft has penned a note in which he stated “first and foremost” the way people decide to …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

The European Commission may impose its largest ever fine on a company for misbehaving - and for Alphabet's Google, it could just be the start. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Commission is considering a fine “in the region of €3bn” for Google’s anti-competitive search practices - or around half of Google’s European …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2016
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

Ireland's international tech sector bumps up against language barrier

Ireland has a very good track record of using its corporation tax rate to attract foreign tech firms - anyone who is anyone is either in Ireland or has been here. The number of jobs created down the years has been significant, especially for such a small country. The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) boasts that Ireland’s “ …
Billy MacInnes, 11 May 2016

Ireland's tax arrangements are as clear as a pint of Guinness

Comment Ireland has repeatedly been in the spotlight for its favourable and controversial tax incentives - which have attracted numerous large tech companies to its shores. However, the country has also been accused of being less than transparent in some of its tax arrangements. The European Commission is currently investigating the …
Kat Hall, 09 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 …

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
'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
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
android_money_648

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

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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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 …
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

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
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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
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
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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
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
Spritam 3D printed pills

Brexit: Leaving the EU could trigger UK science patent law rejig

Opinion Some aspects of patent law of relevance to life sciences companies could come back under the control of UK law makers if the UK votes to leave the EU. The UK market could be effectively closed to parallel imports and, by the adoption of appropriate legislation, the UK could remove uncertainty and encourage investment in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Apr 2016
Philips Hue Starter Pack

Hue, not Three, could be Hutchison’s crown jewel as MNO model morphs

The European Commission has two months to decide whether to allow the takeover of Telefonica’s O2 UK arm by CK Hutchison, owner of 3UK, and if it does, what conditions will be imposed. One of the most likely demands will be for the merged entity to divest some of its infrastructure for a new entrant, or at least to earmark a …
Wireless Watch, 04 Apr 2016
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

Ofcom is keeping schtum over BT Openreach plans until end of year

Telecoms regulator Ofcom will not release details of its proposals for greater structural separation of Openreach and BT until the end of the year. In February the regulator stopped short of recommending a full separation of BT and Openreach in its Digital Communications Review. Ofcom will now draft its "proposals for …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2016
BT Openreach van outside Comedy Pub

Ofcom wants to crack down on pisspoor BT Openreach biz lines

Ofcom wants to impose "strict new rules" on BT Openreach to improve its leased line services to businesses, in draft proposals today recommending faster installation times, lower prices for high-speed lines and greater access to its “dark fibre” network by competitors. In its Business Connectivity Market Review proposals the …
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2016
Netflix

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Consumers are partly prevented from accessing online services and content across the EU by "contractual barriers" put in place by businesses, the European Commission has said. Where contractual provisions are behind so-called "geo-blocking" then those agreements might breach EU competition rules, the Commission said in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Mar 2016