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Paul Merrell

European Commission publishes guidance on new data protection rules - nsnbc internation... - 0 views

  • The European Commission, on January 24, published its guidance aimed to facilitate a direct and smooth application of the European Union’s new data protection rules across the EU as of 25 May. The Commission also launches a new online tool dedicated to SMEs.
  • With just over 100 days left before the application of the new law, the guidance outlines what the European Commission, national data protection authorities and national administrations, according to the Commission, should still do to bring the preparation to a successful completion. The Commission notes that while the new regulation provides for a single set of rules directly applicable in all Member States, it will still require significant adjustments in certain aspects, like amending existing laws by EU governments or setting up the European Data Protection Board by data protection authorities. The Commission states that the guidance recalls the main innovations, opportunities opened up by the new rules, takes stock of the preparatory work already undertaken and outlines the work still ahead of the European Commission, national data protection authorities and national administrations. Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Our digital future can only be built on trust. Everyone’s privacy has to be protected. Strengthened EU data protection rules will become a reality on 25 May. It is a major step forward and we are committed to making it a success for everyone.” Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, added:” In today’s world, the way we handle data will determine to a large extent our economic future and personal safety. We need modern rules to respond to new risks, so we call on EU governments, authorities and businesses to use the remaining time efficiently and fulfil their roles in the preparations for the big day.”
  • The guidance recalls the main elements of the new data protection rules: One set of rules across the continent, guaranteeing legal certainty for businesses and the same data protection level across the EU for citizens. Same rules apply to all companies offering services in the EU, even if these companies are based outside the EU. Stronger and new rights for citizens: the right to information, access and the right to be forgotten are strengthened. A new right to data portability allows citizens to move their data from one company to the other. This will give companies new business opportunities. Stronger protection against data breaches: a company experiencing a data breach, which put individuals at risk, has to notify the data protection authority within 72 hours. Rules with teeth and deterrent fines: all data protection authorities will have the power to impose fines for up to EUR 20 million or, in the case of a company, 4% of the worldwide annual turnover.
Paul Merrell

Challenge to data transfer tool used by Facebook will go to Europe's top court | TechCr... - 1 views

  • The five-week court hearing in what is a complex case delving into detail on US surveillance operations took place in February. The court issued its ruling today. The 153-page ruling starts by noting “this is an unusual case”, before going into a detailed discussion of the arguments and concluding that the DPC’s concerns about the validity of SCCs should be referred to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. Schrems is also the man responsible for bringing, in 2013, a legal challenge that ultimately struck down Safe Harbor — the legal mechanism that had oiled the pipe for EU-US personal data flows for fifteen years before the ECJ ruled it to be invalid in October 2015. Schrems’ argument had centered on U.S. government mass surveillance programs, as disclosed via the Snowden leaks, being incompatible with fundamental European privacy rights. After the ECJ struck down Safe Harbor he then sought to apply the same arguments against Facebook’s use of SCCs — returning to Ireland to make the complaint as that’s where the company has its European HQ. It’s worth noting that the European Commission has since replaced Safe Harbor with a new (and it claims more robust) data transfer mechanism, called the EU-US Privacy Shield — which is now, as Safe Harbor was, used by thousands of businesses. Although that too is facing legal challenges as critics continue to argue there is a core problem of incompatibility between two distinct legal regimes where EU privacy rights collide with US mass surveillance.
  • In a written statement on the ruling Schrems added: “I welcome the judgement by the Irish High Court. It is important that a neutral Court outside of the US has summarized the facts on US surveillance in a judgement, after diving through more than 45,000 pages of documents in a five week hearing.
  • Making a video statement outside court in Dublin today, Schrems said the Irish court had dismissed Facebook’s argument that the US government does not undertake any surveillance.
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  • Schrems’ Safe Harbor challenge also started in the Irish Court before being ultimately referred to the ECJ. So there’s more than a little legal deja vu here, especially given the latest development in the case. In its ruling on the SCC issue, the Irish Court noted that a US ombudsperson position created under Privacy Shield to handle EU citizens complaints about companies’ handling of their data is not enough to overcome what it described as “well founded concerns” raised by the DPC regarding the adequacy of the protections for EU citizens data.
  • On Facebook, he also said: “In simple terms, US law requires Facebook to help the NSA with mass surveillance and EU law prohibits just that. As Facebook is subject to both jurisdictions, they got themselves in a legal dilemma that they cannot possibly solve in the long run.”
  • While Schrems’ original complaint pertained to Facebook, the Irish DPC’s position means many more companies that use the mechanism could face disruption if SCCs are ultimately invalidated as a result of the legal challenge to their validity.
Paul Merrell

Google Caves to Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, Agrees to Pay Fine - nsnbc intern... - 0 views

  • Google ultimately caved to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, agreeing to pay $7.8 million (438 million rubles) for violating antitrust laws. The corporate Colossus will also pay two other fines totaling an additional $18,000 (1 million rubles) for failing to comply with past orders issued by state regulators. Last year Google caved to similar demands by the European Union.
  • In August 2016 Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service responded to a complaint by Russian search engine operator Yandex and fined the U.S.-based Google 438 million rubles for abusing its dominant market position to force manufacturers to make Google applications the default services on devices using Android. Regulators set the fine at 9 percent of Google’s reported profits on the Russian market in 2014, plus inflation. Similar to the case against the European Union Google challenged the penalty in several appellate courts before finally agreeing this week to meet the government’s demands. The corporation also agreed to stop requiring manufacturers to install Google services as the default applications on Android-powered devices. The agreement is valid for six years and nine months, Russia’s Antimonopoly Service reported. Last year Google, after a protracted battle, caved to similar antitrust regulations by the European Union, but the internet giant has also come under fire elsewhere. In 2015 Australian treasurer Joe Hockey implied Google in his list of corporate tax thieves. In January 2016 British lawmakers decided to fry Google over tax evasion. Google and taxes were compared to the Bermuda Triangle. One year ago the dispute between the European Union’s competition watchdog and Google, culminated in the European Commission formally charging Google with abusing the dominant position of its Android mobile phone operating system, having launched an investigation in April 2015.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

With the Google Antitrust Case, the European Commission Is Is Trying to Gerrymander Yes... - 1 views

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    "Earlier this month Google filed its response to the European Commission's Android antitrust complaint, which alleges that Google thwarts its competitors in search, mobile apps, and mobile devices by limiting their access to Android users through self-serving licensing terms. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EU Court: Open WiFi Operator Not Liable For Pirate Users - TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    " Andy on September 16, 2016 C: 33 Breaking The Court of Justice of the European Union has found that the operator of an open WiFi network can not be held liable for infringements carried out by his users. The case involved Pirate Party member Tobias McFadden who was accused by Sony of enabling music piracy."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EU antitrust chief eyeballs online retail geo-blockers, threatens action | Ars Technica UK - 1 views

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    "Bloc's e-commerce sector report finds restrictive contracts are a common occurrence. Jennifer Baker - Sep 15, 2016 3:34 pm UTC 8 "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

European Union plans to offer free Wi-Fi to all | ITworld - 0 views

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    "But the EU's €120 million budget for the project won't stretch far By Peter Saye"
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    "But the EU's €120 million budget for the project won't stretch far By Peter Saye"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EU Court: Not-For-Profit Hyperlinking Usually Not Copyright Infringement - TorrentFreak - 1 views

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    " Andy on September 8, 2016 C: 48 Breaking A ruling from the European Court of Justice has clarified when the posting of hyperlinks to infringing works is to be considered a 'communication to the public'. Those who post links to content they do not know is infringing in a non-commercial environment can relax, but for those doing so during the course of business the rules are much tighter."
Paul Merrell

EU-US Personal Data Privacy Deal 'Cracked Beyond Repair' - 0 views

  • Privacy Shield is the proposed new deal between the EU and the US that is supposed to safeguard all personal data on EU citizens held on computer systems in the US from being subject to mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency. The data can refer to any transaction — web purchases, cars or clothing — involving an EU citizen whose data is held on US servers. Privacy groups say Privacy Shield — which replaces the Safe Harbor agreement ruled unlawful in October 2015 — does not meet strict EU standard on the use of personal data. Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) told Sputnik: “We consider that the shield is cracked beyond repair and is unlikely to stand scrutiny by the European Court of Justice. A fundamental problem remains that the US side of the shield is made of clay, not iron.”
  • The agreement has been under negotiation for months ever since the because the European Court of Justice ruled in October 2015 that the previous EU-US data agreement — Safe Harbor — was invalid. The issue arises from the strict EU laws — enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — to the privacy of their personal data.
  • The Safe Harbor agreement was a quasi-judicial understanding that the US undertook to agree that it would ensure that EU citizens’ data on US servers would be held and protected under the same restrictions as it would be under EU law and directives. The data covers a huge array of information — from Internet and communications usage, to sales transactions, import and exports.
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  • The case arose when Maximillian Schrems, a Facebook user, lodged a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, arguing that — in the light of the revelations by ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) — the transfer of data from Facebook’s Irish subsidiary onto the company’s servers in the US does not provide sufficient protection of his personal data. The court ruled that: “the Safe Harbor Decision denies the national supervisory authorities their powers where a person calls into question whether the decision is compatible with the protection of the privacy and of the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals.”
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    Off we go for another trip to the European Court of Justice.
Paul Merrell

EU okays 'renewed' data transfer deal, lets US firms move Europeans' private info overs... - 0 views

  • The EU has accepted a new version of the so-called Private Shield law that would allow US companies to transfer Europeans’ private data to servers across the ocean. The EU struck down the previously-reached agreement over US surveillance concerns.
  • The majority of EU members voted in support of the Privacy Shield pact with the US that had been designed to replace its predecessor, the Safe Harbor system, which the highest EU court ruled “invalid” in October 2015 following Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass US surveillance.
  • The newly-adopted agreement will come into force starting Tuesday.The deal, which is said to be aimed at protecting European citizens’ private data, defines the rules of how the sharing of information should be handled. It gives legal ground for tech companies such as Google, Facebook and MasterCard to move Europeans’ personal data to US servers bypassing an EU ban on moving personal information out from the 28-nation bloc. The agreement covers everything from private data about employees to detailed records of what people do online.“For the first time, the US has given the EU written assurance that the access of public authorities for law enforcement and national security will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms and has ruled out indiscriminate mass surveillance of European citizens' data,” the statement said.
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  • The new deal now grants greater guarantees to European customers and provides “accessible and affordable redress mechanisms” in case any disputes concerning US spying arise. An ombudsman will also be created within the US State Department to review complaints filed by EU citizens.
  • Privacy Shield, however, has also faced sharp criticism. Concerns about extensive US spying activity were raised in Europe after whistleblower Edward Snowden released a trove of controversial material on Washington’s surveillance practices.Digital rights group Privacy International (PI) said the newly-adopted pact had been drawn up on a "flawed premise" and “remains full of holes and hence offers limited protection to personal data”. 
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Save EU Net Neutrality - 0 views

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    "This summer, the EU decides on net neutrality. If we lose, European ISPs win the power to give some sites & apps special treatment-while slowing others to a crawl. On June 28, the EU Slowdown begins. Sites will protest with a slow loading icon based on Europe's flag, to drive millions of comments to EU regulators. Can you join?"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Fix Copyright! | Help us Reform Copyright - 0 views

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    "01 DYSFUNCTIONAL & NOT FIT FOR THE DIGITAL WORLD Copyright reform is needed to adapt to the digital world we live in. Under the current system everything tends to fall under copyright unless it is covered by a specific exception in the law. The trouble is that these exceptions are narrow, specific and technologically outdated: the list was written in 2001! This was well before YouTube and Facebook were created. As a result, everyday habits of online users could be considered illegal today. A blogger linking to copyrighted content, a meme based on a copyrighted image, a video with some footage from an existing movie or a song: all of that could create issues for the user that posted them."
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    "01 DYSFUNCTIONAL & NOT FIT FOR THE DIGITAL WORLD Copyright reform is needed to adapt to the digital world we live in. Under the current system everything tends to fall under copyright unless it is covered by a specific exception in the law. The trouble is that these exceptions are narrow, specific and technologically outdated: the list was written in 2001! This was well before YouTube and Facebook were created. As a result, everyday habits of online users could be considered illegal today. A blogger linking to copyrighted content, a meme based on a copyrighted image, a video with some footage from an existing movie or a song: all of that could create issues for the user that posted them."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Time to #Fixcopyright and Free the Panorama Across EU - infojustice - 0 views

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    "[Anna Mazgal, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] Freedom of panorama is a fundamental element of European cultural heritage and visual history. Rooted in freedom of expression, it allows painters, photographers, filmmakers, journalists and tourists alike to document public spaces, create masterpieces of art and memories of beautiful places, and freely share it with others. Within the Best Case Scenarios for Copyright series we present Portugal as the best example for freedom of panorama. Below you can find the basic facts and for more evidence check the Best Case Scenario for Copyright - Freedom of Panorama in Portugal legal study. EU, it's time to #fixcopyright!"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EU digital ministers demand free data flows, no one-size-fits-all rules | Ars Technica UK - 0 views

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    "The UK's digital economy minister Ed Vaizey has-alongside ministers from 13 other EU countries-demanded that data should flow freely within and beyond the 28-member-state bloc."
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    "The UK's digital economy minister Ed Vaizey has-alongside ministers from 13 other EU countries-demanded that data should flow freely within and beyond the 28-member-state bloc."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Leaked EU Draft Reveals Geo-Blocking Can Stay For Video - TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    " By Andy on May 13, 2016 C: 91 Breaking Excitement over the European Commission's plans to abolish geo-blocking and filtering restrictions across EU member states is in jeopardy following the publication of a leaked draft. The 34-page document proposes exceptions for audio-visual content, meaning that services like Netflix would be excluded."
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    " By Andy on May 13, 2016 C: 91 Breaking Excitement over the European Commission's plans to abolish geo-blocking and filtering restrictions across EU member states is in jeopardy following the publication of a leaked draft. The 34-page document proposes exceptions for audio-visual content, meaning that services like Netflix would be excluded."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Massive EU data protection overhaul finally approved | Ars Technica UK - 0 views

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    "The European Parliament today voted in favour of major reforms to data protection in the EU, first put forward in January 2012 as a replacement for the current rules, which were drawn up in 1995. The new law is done and dusted and will come into action in April 2018."
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    "The European Parliament today voted in favour of major reforms to data protection in the EU, first put forward in January 2012 as a replacement for the current rules, which were drawn up in 1995. The new law is done and dusted and will come into action in April 2018."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Linking to pirated material doesn't infringe copyright, says top EU court lawyer | Ars ... - 0 views

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    "Key question is whether the Court of Justice of the European Union agrees with him. by Glyn Moody - Apr 7, 2016 10:08 am UTC"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

68% of Digital Content Providers Geo-Block in the EU - TorrentFreak [+ buso jpg image c... - 0 views

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    " By Andy on March 21, 2016 C: 6 News Initial findings published as a result of the EU Commission's e-commerce antitrust inquiry reveal widespread content blocking across the European Union. According to the report, 68% of digital content providers say they block consumers located in other EU countries, with 74% of all fiction TV licensing agreements demanding the practice. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Brexit could put UK-EU data-sharing in jeopardy | Ars Technica UK - 0 views

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    "... Privacy Shield covers the obligations of non-EU commercial organisations and governments when handling data of EU citizens. The Investigatory Powers Bill will regulate the role of security services and police in the UK for UK citizens' data. Should Britain vote to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum, the interplay between these two could be devastating for UK digital industries. ..."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EU Proposal Bans Netflix-Style Geo Blocking and Restrictions - TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    " Ernesto on December 9, 2015 C: 62 Breaking The European Commission has officially presented its plan to abolish geo-blocking and filtering restrictions across EU member states. The new proposal requires online services to allow users to access their accounts all across Europe, even in countries where it's officially not available yet."
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