Articles about European Union

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 …

EMC makes a LEAP forward with Virtustream and more

EMC World The first day of EMC World in Las Vegas caused announcement overload, with the Unity array top of the list, closely followed by a Virtustream storage cloud and more. The Virtustream Storage Cloud (VSC) is for enterprises and service providers to store data in the cloud, mission-critical data, says EMC. The data can come from …
Chris Mellor, 03 May 2016

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
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
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 …
Google's car puts it in the pink

If Android’s wings are clipped, other Google platforms may gain

If Google's Android wings are clipped in the mobile market by European Union judgments, other elements of its portfolio may gain heavier strategic weight as it pushes to create a dominant platform that looks well beyond PCs and mobile devices, and into every object which will have a web connection in future. Like Facebook, the …
Wireless Watch, 25 Apr 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

EMC results: It'll all come out in the post-Dell deal wash

+Comment EMC saw many pockets of growth in its first fiscal 2016 quarter’s results but overall revenues declined because core legacy product revenues fell, as did RSA and the enterprise content business. These declines more than offset the impressive growth rates of newer products. In the EMC earnings call, CEO and chairman Joe Tucci …
Chris Mellor, 21 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

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
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
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
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

Hacking Team's export authorisation hacked by Italian government

The Italian government has revoked the blanket export license that allowed Hacking Team to ship its surveillance tools around the world. According to Italian outlet Il Fatto Quotidiano (here in Italian), the license decision applies to the company's Galileo spyware, formerly okayed for export to 46 countries. Last year's …
Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz slams DNS overseer ICANN a second time

Republican presidential wannabe Ted Cruz, along with two other Senators, has lambasted DNS overseer ICANN a second time for failing to answer questions over its former CEO's ties to China. In a letter [PDF] sent to ICANN chairman Steve Crocker on Monday, Cruz and Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Michael Lee (R-UT) demanded …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 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
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

EU ministers to demand more data access after Brussels attacks

Following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, European Union ministers are planning on a new security-driven push for access to communications data – including a dedicated international data sharing platform. This comes after 31 people were killed and roughly 300 others were injured when three suicide bombers attacked Brussel's …
Bristol's massive MIMO testbed

Bristol boffins blast 1.59 Gbps down ONE 20 MHz channel

VIDEO In what's being touted as a “5G breakthrough”, University of Bristol researchers have demonstrated that MIMO (multi-in, multi-out) antenna arrangements can be scaled up to more than 100 transmitters. The demonstration, as described in a canned statement, used 128 antennas transmitting to as many as 12 single-antenna clients …
Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May. Photo by Twocoms/Shutterstock.com

Lessons from history for UK Home Sec Theresa May's Investigatory Powers Bill

IPB “Let me be clear,” Theresa May said on the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Bill in Blighty, “the draft Bill we are publishing today is not a return to the draft Communications Data Bill of 2012.” She was referring to the previous, the UK's previous coalition government's attempt at a Snoopers' Charter. This was true …
European commission photo via Shutterstock

British IT outsourcers back Remain in the EU referendum campaign

A trade group representing companies that ship UK tech jobs overseas says we should vote to stay in the European Union. “Outsourcing is a significant growth industry for the UK - currently the UK’s second largest employer - and one where we have every chance of taking a global leadership position. Exiting the EU would quickly …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2016
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

SAP backs UK remaining in the EU ahead of vote

Exclusive SAP, Europe’s largest native software firm, boasting annual revenue of 20.8bn euros, has come out in favour of Britain remaining a member of the EU. The industry’s largest maker of business software told The Register that Britain’s membership of the European Union would benefit both sides. Part of the Germany-based firm's …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Mar 2016
Empty office space, image vIa Shutterstock

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

Analysis Immigration is one of the main concerns for advocates of Brexit. Some IT firms from Britain and abroad who we spoke to share this concern – but in the other direction. One UK tech firm has told The Register it could be forced to leave the country if Britain votes to leave the European Union on June 23 – a Techxit, if you will …
SA Mathieson, 11 Mar 2016

How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data

Analysis If the UK decides later this year to leave Europe – the so-called "Brexit" – it would have a severe knock-on impact on sharing people's personal data between Blighty and Euro nations. So warns internet governance expert Emily Taylor in a piece for London-based international affairs think tank Chatham House. Taylor warns that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Mar 2016
Woman reads book, sips tea on couch. Photo by Shutterstock

Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

How many times have you spoken to someone in a call centre who refused to give you information on the basis that the "Data Protection Act" prevents them? Any potential customers in Germany who told you they can’t buy your IT or cloud service because their law prohibits data transfers outside Germany? Has anyone told you that a …
Frank Jennings, 10 Mar 2016
EU logo on rubber glove

European commish considers probing Android, again

The European Union has taken early steps towards opening an antitrust investigation into the Android operating system. According to Bloomberg, Google's opponents have been asked to prepare redacted versions of their complaints with business secrets removed, so the documents can be shown to Google. The spirits tell Bloomberg …
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Here's one obscure little EU data protection rule that would be good

Those concerned with data protection and privacy have their work cut out in the UK. On top of understanding what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Directive in the field of law enforcement both mean in practice, this week saw the publication of: the Investigative Powers Bill (which …
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Facebook can block folks using pseudonyms in Germany – court

Facebook has landed a win in Germany: the Hamburg Administrative Court says the website's real-names-only policy is governed by the laws of Ireland – and not Germany. That means Facebook's policy does not fall under German privacy laws, and thus the social network doesn't have to change a thing despite concerns over the policy …
Snooping image via Shutterstock

Investigatory Powers Bill: Spooks willingly entering the light?

IPB The redrafted Investigatory Powers bill is about to return to Parliament, accompanied by complaints that the government is trying to rush it through, threats of Conservative backbench rebellions and a withdrawal of Labour support. It could almost be the European Union referendum. Arguments over process and party splits are not …
SA Mathieson, 01 Mar 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Europe is spaffing €20bn on handouts for tech

Sketch Europe's dreams may be sinking like the Titanic, but wait: there’s €20bn of taxpayer’s cash swilling around for tech handouts. So we found at yesterday's Digital4EU shindig. “There’s a lot of money with a digital label on it – over €20bn,” said Luciana Tomozei, policy advisor at the European Investment Bank. This comes via …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2016
Yawning Cat by Johnc24 at Flickr, CC-20 License at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This program can detect if you're bored – which is going to make annoying ads, articles so much more annoying

Scientists at the University of Sussex, UK, have developed computer software that monitors the movements of the user to tell if they are bored with what's on the screen. The code works by measuring non-instrumental movements, the involuntary twitches and tics we all make subconsciously. If someone is mentally engaged with what …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2016

Your xenophobia is killing us, Silicon Valley warns US Congress

A slew of Silicon Valley leaders have warned US Congress that changes to visa waiver rules for entering the United States are impeding business. The open letter is signed by more than 30 industry heads including the chairmen, CEOs and founders of Twitter, Paypal, Uber, Pixar, Dropbox, Zynga, Pinterest and eBay, among others. …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2016

Cameron co-opts UK mobile industry for EU Remain campaign

The date of the UK referendum on EU membership is set, and the campaigning has begun. Prime Minister David Cameron sees European mobile co-operation as a key part of the case for voting Remain. Today he chose Telefonica’s O2 HQ in Slough for a speech and public Q&A. Cameron argued that Britain would lose influence outside an …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2016

'Leave' or 'Stay' in the referendum? UK has to implement GDPR either way

Opinion “In” or “out”, the UK has to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is important given that some organisations might think that a “Leave” vote might change matters with respect to the GDPR compliance (especially as the Cabinet minister responsible for GDPR implementation, John Whittingdale, is a prominent …

Privacy Shield: Data Protection Commissioners break out a six-pack

Hawktalk In this blog, I make a few comments about “Safe Harbor 2” (or the “Privacy Shield” to use the flash marketing term for the recently announced agreement). In summary, there is no published evidence that the Privacy Shield actually provides an adequate level of protection: so contrary to all those optimistic news reports, can you …

Uber, Taskrabbit, other Silicon Valley darlings urge Europe not to screw their business

Uber, AirBnB, Taskrabbit and another 44 online businesses built around the "sharing economy" have written to the European Union urging politicians not to limit their development through new laws. In a letter [PDF] addressed to Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, currently president of the EU, the companies argue that they are " …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2016

Brits best French in Euro securo pwn party

Brits are less likely than the French to be p0wned by malware, phishing, or to have their privacy violated by some wretched online service, but are far more vulnerable than the Dutch, the European Union's numbers office has found. The Eurostat statistics haul was acquired by in surveys last year of EU citizens aged 16 to 74 …
Darren Pauli, 09 Feb 2016
Man with head in the cloud

Europe makes it rain for cloud biz: £30m of gold showered on BT, IBM etc

The European Commission has announced what companies will supply the organization with its new cloud services. Contracts were broken out into three "lots," covering a private cloud setup, public cloud setup, and platform-as-a-service, for which it will pay a total of €34.6m (US$38.5m, £26.6m). Despite having received 20 …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Feb 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Europe wants end to anonymous Bitcoin transactions

The European Commission (EC) wants to end anonymous trading in virtual currencies in order to help track terror groups's funding. The EC yesterday published an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against the financing of terrorism (PDF) that says criminals are quick to seek out new ways of moving money that offer lower risk of …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2016
Car crash

Euro-security group ENISA notices cars are insecure, plots fixfest

ENISA, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, has noticed that computers, cars, and communications can result in insecurity, and is calling for participants in a new CarSEC expert group. With a focus on “Smart Cars and Intelligent Road Systems”, ENISA says it will keep the call for experts open for …
Tilted Land Rover photo Mark Whitehorn Paul Hazell

Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

The iconic Land Rover Defender is to cease production today after 33 years in continuous production. Built by Jaguar Land Rover at its Solihull factory, the Defender can trace its roots through the original Series vehicles back to 1948, making it one of world’s first four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Land Rover was conceived by …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Jan 2016
Facebook Sweden data center

Hell, high water, and ice: Facebook's Dublin data center choices

Facebook is to spend US$218m (£153m / €200m) on its second data center in Europe. Mark Zuckerberg's firm has promised an "innovative, environmentally friendly data center." It is easy to view the construction of this particular Facebook's answer to the expiration of Safe Harbor last year, to throw up a repository within the …

Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

Internet anonymity should be banned and everyone required to carry the equivalent of a license plate when driving around online. That's according to Erik Barnett, the US Department of Homeland Security's attaché to the European Union. Writing in French policy magazine FIC Observatoire, Barnett somewhat predictably relies on …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jan 2016

In this Facebook and Google-owned world, it's time to rethink privacy

Analysis It's a seemingly endless topic of conversation: what do we do about the fact that Google and Facebook have built vast databases on us as individuals? The discussion ranges from rallying cries (If it's free, you are the product!) to privacy fears (How much of this information does the government have?) to anecdotal evidence of …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jan 2016
Doomsday clock

Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

United States and European Commission officials have promised they are doing everything possible to reach agreement over transatlantic data-sharing before a critical deadline at the end of this week. After the Safe Harbor agreement – put in place in 2000 – was struck down by Europe's highest court back in October due to NSA …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2016
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?

Google is to pay £130m to settle a tax dispute with the British Government over how it account for revenues booked in the UK. More importantly for Treasury coffers Google will now "pay tax based on revenue from UK-based advertisers, which reflects the size and scope of our U.K. business,” a Google spokesman wrote in an email …
Drew Cullen, 23 Jan 2016
China

China to set up its own virtual currency

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), China's central bank, hopes to launch its own virtual currency to cut the cost of handling paper money and to give the government more control of the country's money supply. A research team has been looking into digital currencies since 2014 and has achieved some encouraging initial results. …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Jan 2016

IRA’s former political wing takes aim at Apple over back tax

Ireland’s republican party Sinn Féin has declared it has no intention of giving Apple any wriggle room over an upcoming European ruling that could leave it liable for billions in back taxes. Ireland is braced for an election - and starting 100th anniversary commemorations of the Easter 1916 rising against British rule. Some …
Joe Fay, 21 Jan 2016