Uber loses London operating licence due to a pattern of failures

Uber London

The online taxi app platform Uber has ljust ost its licence to operate private hire vehicles in London after authorities found that more than 14,000 trips were taken with uninsured drivers. Transport for London announced the decision not to renew the ride-hailing firm’s licence at the end of a two-month probationary extension granted in September. Uber was told then it needed to address issues with checks on drivers, insurance and safety, but has failed to satisfy the capital’s transport authorities. TfL said on Monday it had identified a “pattern of…

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European Union privacy officials asks Facebook told to stop exploiting WhatsApp data

WhatsApp launches end-to-end encryption on messages for all its users

European Union privacy chiefs said Facebook must stop processing user data from its WhatsApp messaging service while they are investigating the privacy policy changes the company announced in August. The Article 29 Working Party, made up of privacy chiefs from across the 28-nation EU, told Facebook it had “serious concerns” about the sharing of WhatsApp users’ data for purposes that were not included in the terms of service and privacy policy when existing users signed up to the service, according to a statement e-mailed on Friday. European privacy watchdogs don’t…

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WSJ: Google Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit In Europe

Privacy

“European Union regulators formally accused Google Inc. of violating the bloc’s antitrust laws by abusing its dominance of online search, escalating a long-running case that had stalled for years despite three separate attempts at a settlement. Wednesday’s move is the first time that any regulator has filed formal antitrust charges against the California search giant, putting the EU in the vanguard of a global debate over the regulation of giant Internet platforms.” Adapted from WSJ

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EU hopes to abolish Internet geoblocking as it stands in the way of a modern digital market

The European Commission has said it is resolved to do away with the common practice of the user IP-based blocking of some digital content on the Internet. It said geoblocking stood in the way of a modern digital market. The EU executive announced Wednesday it had reached a decision in principle to tear down national Internet usage barriers by scrapping the widespread practice of what’s become known as geoblocking. It’s a method of preventing users from accessing certain websites, videos, music and other content based on their location and has…

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EU Parliament blocks Microsoft’s new Outlook apps over privacy concerns

Access to Microsoft’s new Outlook apps has been blocked for members of the European Parliament because of “serious security issues.” Microsoft launched new Outlook apps for iOS and Android just over a week ago. The new apps are basically a rebranded version of a mail app made by Acompli, a company Microsoft bought in December for a reported US$200 million. Access to the apps though was blocked on Friday by the Parliament’s IT department, DG ITEC, in order to protect the confidentiality and privacy of its users, according to an…

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European Regulators Publish Right To Be Forgotten Guidelines

Europe’s Article 29 Working Party, the body comprised of data protection representatives from individual Member States of the European Union, has now published guidelines on the implementation of the so-called right to be forgotten ruling, which was handed down by Europe’s top court back in May. The European Court of Justice Right To Be Forgotten ruling gives private individuals in Europe the right to request that search engines de-index specific URLs attached to search results for their name — if the information being associated with their name is inaccurate, outdated or irrelevant. The ruling…

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European Court of Justice to Rule If Bitcoin is VATable

The European Court of Justice will rule if bitcoin transactions are subject to its value-added tax rules (VAT). If that top court decides to impose VAT regulations on member nations with bitcoin businesses, they could suffer an economic setback. Others could miss out on the opportunity to establish business initiatives associated with bitcoin. VAT is one way the EU raises tax revenues. It’s essentially a consumption tax, paid by buyers as part of the purchase price. That case before the Court is C-264/14 Skatteverket v David Hedqvist and it raises the issue:…

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Google launches webform for ‘right to be forgotten’ removal requests in response to EU court ruling

Privacy

Google has launched a webpage where European citizens can request that links to information about them be taken off search results, the first step to comply with a court ruling affirming the “right to be forgotten”. The company, which processes more than 90% of all web searches in Europe, has made available a webform through which people can submit their requests but has stopped short of specifying when it will remove links that meet the criteria for being taken down. Google said it had convened a committee of senior executives…

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Right to Be Forgotten? Europe’s Orwellian Internet Time Warp

By David Kirkpatrick When the European Court of Justice—the rough equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court—ruled that individuals have the “Right to Be Forgotten,” it took a dangerous step backward. Among many potential negative consequences, it could contribute to slowing global economic growth. The court endorsed a profoundly a historical, anti-technological argument about the supposed rights of individuals. The plaintiff, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, is a Spanish citizen who was joined by a Spanish government agency in arguing that Google ought not link to a 1998 newspaper mention of a real estate…

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The European Commission’s Tech All Stars competition returns to honor the EU’s best startups

The European Commission is really keen to support the EU tech community these days. It’s honoring the top tech entrepreneurs with Europioneers and meanwhile, the second edition of its startup competition Tech All Stars has just kicked off and is looking for entries. Tech All Stars was launched last year, with automated complaint resolution tool CogniCor emerging as the winner. This year’s competition is now looking for entries, and the finals are an international affair taking in Germany, the UK and Ireland. Adapted from thenextweb.com

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