“Welcome to Our World” – Building Bridges in the Cloud

Mark Lange, Microsoft EU Policy Blog,  Thursday, July 02, 2015

Some insist that the physical location of data does and should affect what rules apply to it. Others, considering their own move to modern cloud services, want to know exactly how their data would be managed in the cloud and want reassurance that access to it would be strictly controlled. And these same agencies cannot contemplate a situation without limits on what other governments could do to gather digital records. Different government stakeholders can create divergent, sometimes competing, demands for cloud providers. Welcome to our world. With such different imperatives at work, there is a growing recognition of the need for clear rules about law enforcement access to data in the cloud. These should be consistent with the rule of law, as agreed upon among nations and understandable to citizens.

EU data protection regulation closer, your next headache?

Giulio Coraggio, GamingTechLaw,  Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The new EU Data Protection regulation is now closer with the EU Council of ministers reaching an agreement on a general approach which still leaves some room for negotiations and further headaches… Data protection experts might have lost any hope to see the final draft of the new EU Privacy Regulation during their life after that any step forward was followed by a number of steps backwards. But after 3 years from the first draft, commentators are quite confident to see the EU data protection regulation finally approved by the end of the year. The approval by the EU Council of the latest draft of the EU privacy regulation does NOT mean that the regulation is now approved. Further discussions with the EU Parliament and Commission shall take place and a number of points of discussion appear still open.

Study Suggests Google Harms Consumers by Skewing Search Results

Tom Fairless, Wall Street Journal,  Monday, June 29, 2015

New research by two U.S. academics suggests that Google Inc. is harming Internet users and violating competition laws by skewing search results to favor its own services, a potentially significant twist in Europe’s long-running antitrust investigation of the U.S. search company. The research combines statistical testing with detailed legal and economic analysis to examine the ramifications of Google’s practice of promoting its own specialized search services, such as for local restaurants or doctors, at the expense of rivals such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. It was sponsored by Yelp, which has filed a complaint with European Union antitrust authorities over Google’s search practices. It was presented to EU regulators on Friday.

Dealing With Data Privacy in the Cloud

Paul Trotter, CIO,  Monday, June 29, 2015

Our reliance on data and the potential pitfalls associated with managing it have given rise to the need for safeguards for the protection of information, particularly in Europe where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will soon come into force. GDPR is designed to harmonise the current data protection regulations across EU member states, with strict data compliance stipulations and the possibility of huge financial penalties for those who breach of the rules. While the regulation doesn’t deal specifically with cloud service providers, it does have implications for organisations that use cloud services to store data. And with many companies in need of guidelines on how to deal with new approaches to data management, it’s time to turn to the experts.

Will EU deem Google, Facebook and Twitter part of critical infrastructure?

Loek Essers and Peter Sayer, IDG News Service ,  Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pressure is mounting in the European Union to subject companies including Google, Twitter, eBay and Facebook to the same critical IT infrastructure security requirements as banks or energy networks. EU lawmakers want providers of essential services in industries including banking, health care, transport and energy to protect their networks from hackers, and to disclose data breaches to the authorities.

Eight EU nations urge caution on Internet regulation

Julia Fioretti, Reuters,  Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eight European Union nations including Britain, Ireland and Poland on Tuesday urged caution with regulating the Internet, as Brussels prepares a sweeping review of the behaviour of web giants that could see them subjected to new rules. In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, who will this week chair a meeting of the EU's 28 heads of state, the leaders of Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands, said the EU should only regulate "where there is clear evidence to do so."

European Officials Push Telecom Regulating for Tech

Mark Scott, New York Times Bits,  Wednesday, June 24, 2015

For regulators here, the divide between European telecom companies and American tech companies is fast eroding. Those blurring lines have moved European officials to argue for regulating many tech companies’ under the same strict rules that govern telecom and cable operators, a decision that could have broad implications for the tech companies.

EU Demands Major Changes to Google’s Search Rankings

Tom Fairless, Wall Street Journal,  Monday, June 22, 2015

The European Union has demanded sweeping changes to the way Google Inc. ranks rival comparison-shopping services in its general search results and warned that the company could be fined for alleged past violations of EU antitrust law, according to a formal charge sheet that was sent to the U.S. search giant in April, three people familiar with the matter said. The charge sheet, which runs more than 100 pages, calls on Google to use the “same underlying processes and methods” when presenting rival shopping-comparison services on its search page, the people said. That demand for equal treatment of competitors goes far beyond Google’s own proposal last year to settle the concerns of the European Commission, the EU’s top antitrust authority, that Google skews search results in favor of its own specialist search services, like Google Shopping.

Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks

Andrew Fishman and Morgan Marquis-Boire, The Intercept,  Monday, June 22, 2015

The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The spy agencies have reverse engineered software products, sometimes under questionable legal authority, and monitored web and email traffic in order to discreetly thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence from companies about security software and users of such software.

CMA publishes findings on the commercial use of consumer data

UK Competition and Markets Authority,  Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) primary aim in conducting this work was to increase understanding of the issues and inform our future competition and consumer work. The report identifies some elements that could support well-functioning markets: •consumers should know when and how their data is being collected and used and be able to decide whether and how to participate •firms should compete to provide better services to consumers on the issues that matter to consumers, such as the controls enabling them to manage their own data-sharing •consumers and firms should share the benefits of using consumer data •the regulation of data should ensure the protection of essential rights such as privacy •where there are breaches of regulations, enforcement must be undertaken proportionately and effectively