French researchers find that Android apps exploit permissions

Peter Sayer, PCWorld,  Monday, December 15, 2014

Android apps really do use those permissions they ask for to access users’ personal information. French researchers found that one online store records a phone’s location up to 10 times a minute. The tools to manage such access are limited, and inadequate given how much information phones can gather. In a recent study, ten volunteers used Android phones that tracked app behavior using a monitoring app, Mobilitics, developed by the French National Institute for Informatics Research (INRIA) in conjunction with the National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL).

Getting a Grip on Europe’s Concerns about Google

ICOMP,  Thursday, December 11, 2014

But it is irresponsible to try and make the Google case seem wider than it actually is. Google is being held to the same standards as other companies operating in Europe. There is no vendetta and no bias against US companies. The EU has adopted the Digital Agenda as a flagship policy. In that context there is a perfectly proper democratic debate taking place as to the best ways in which to apply existing laws to the digital economy, and to have a public discussion as to whether and, if so, in what ways to adapt the existing legislative framework to the needs of that economy.

Joint statement of the European Data Protection Authorities Assembled in the Article29 working party

The European Data Governance Forum,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Because of its common history and culture,Europe must make its voice heard in terms of ensuring that fundamental rights,including the rights to privacy and data protection, are respected without obstructing innovation or the need to ensure security in our society. In this context, the independent Data Protection Authorities assembled in the EUArticle 29 Working Party (WP29) want to deliver several key messages on how to address this global challenge. Therefore, the Article 29 Working Party, on its plenary meeting of 25 November 2014, has adopted the following declaration...

U.K. Court Case Against Google Could Clarify Law On Private Data

Natasha Lomas, Tech Crunch,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

A spokesman for the ICO told TechCrunch it is interested in the case because it raises issues about the jurisdiction for serving civil claims on foreign companies. He said the specific question of interest here is: when Google is processing personal information in the U.K. at what point is it covered by U.K. law and when might that data processing be considered to be outside U.K. law. The ICO has submitted written evidence to the High Court to provide clarification about what is classed as personal data, under the U.K.’s Data Protection Act, and on when personal data processing is taking place.

Internet firms push to be left out of EU cybersecurity law

Julia Fioretti, Reuters,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

EU lawmakers want the law to cover only sectors that they consider critical, such as energy, transport and finance. But the Commission - the EU executive - and some countries, such as Germany and France, are pushing to include cloud providers, social networks, search engines and e-commerce platforms because of their widespread use by people and businesses.

France Wants EU Data Privacy Rules to ‘Balance’ U.S. Web Giants’ Power

Sam Schechner, WSJ Digits,  Monday, December 08, 2014

Speaking Monday at a conference in Paris organized by France’s data-protection agency, Mr. Valls said that France supports a tough new data-protection regulation currently being debated at a European level. The new regulation, which has been under consideration for years, is making progress toward a possible adoption next year. “We cannot let personal data-harvesting and exploitation develop in the absence of all rules,” Mr. Valls said. “Democratic values must prevail in the digital world. The law must apply.”

European Privacy Debate on Display in Paris

Mark Scott, New York Times,  Monday, December 08, 2014

European Union policy makers are demanding greater controls over how companies like Google and Facebook use personal information. At the same time, others would like to use those same laws to help European companies compete against their American rivals as a way to jump-start a sluggish economy.

MEPs Schwab and Tremosa on separating internet search engines from commercial activities

European Parliament News,  Friday, December 05, 2014

Schwab: What we need is a level-playing field. Users should always get the best answers to their question. The goal of the Digital Single Market must be a broad variety of offers. So far, there are risks that by putting one gatekeeper in the middle that can co-sponsor their own services, they can make it very difficult for others to compete.

Yandex CEO Backs Google Antitrust Probes as Search Share Drops

Ilya Khrennikov, Bloomberg,  Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Yandex NV Chief Executive Officer Arkady Volozh said he supports antitrust investigations of Google Inc., whose Android operating system is helping it gain market share against Russia’s biggest search engine. Android’s default options push users to Google services including search and maps, limiting consumers’ ability to choose such services from Yandex or other vendors, Volozh said in an interview at the company’s Moscow offices. The operating system has 85 percent of Russia’s smartphone market, according to researcher IDC. “This is very similar to what Microsoft Corp. was doing a decade ago,” Volozh said. “They were trying to use dominance in operating systems to promote their Internet Explorer browser and were finally banned from doing this. The same is now happening with Android -- Google dominates in it and runs practices incompatible with fair competition.”

G-Cloud rises above EMEA gov cloud initiatives, but for how long?

Business Cloud News,  Friday, November 28, 2014

The UK government is “ahead of the curve” when it comes to cloud adoption and streamlining digital service procurement practices across the public sector, according to recently published research from IDC. But Massimiliano Claps, research director at IDC Government Insights told BCN that while the UK government has taken strides to refine the procurement and certification process for G-Cloud, it’s unclear whether the moves will make buyers’ lives easier.