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

WhatsApp launches end-to-end encryption on messages for all its users
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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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Brookings Study estimates cost of internet shutdowns in 2015 at $2.4 billion

Banking Crisis
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Whenever there’s a shutdown of internet access or restrictions placed on an app, we shake our heads disapprovingly because we know it’s a fundamentally bad idea to do that. But what exactly is the cost of those shutdowns? A new study from the Brookings Institution suggests well over $2 billion over the last year. The study, by Brookings analyst Darrell West, is a very rough estimate of these costs. We’re talking back-of-napkin rough — well, assuming you were sitting at the bar with MIT and World Bank economists. Essentially, West…

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Tech firms ‘Wary of losing EU workers post-Brexit’

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British group of legislators have said that Britain must urgently address the post-Brexit concerns of tech companies who fear losing European Union workers to other countries in the bloc. The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee said ministers should use the upcoming digital strategy to set out the impact of the vote to leave the EU on firms’ high-skilled European employees. It also warned that the UK’s position as a world leader in fintech – businesses which use technology to improve efficiency in financial services – could be at risk as businesses may seek…

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WSJ: Google Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit In Europe

Privacy
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“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

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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

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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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Google Shuts Spanish Google News Service, Spanish Government Says It Has no Plans to Modify Law That Prompted Google’s Move

Privacy
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BBC News: Madrid Online search giant Google is shutting down its Google News service in Spain before a new intellectual property law is introduced. Google will shut the service on 16 December before the law comes into effect in January, the firm said. The law allows Spanish publications to charge services like Google News if their content is shown on the site. But Google has argued against the ruling, saying that it makes no money from its search-based service. “It’s with real sadness that on 16 December we’ll remove Spanish…

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Right to Be Forgotten: Google must block a group of websites worldwide Rules Canadian Court

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On the heels of Europe’s “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling, a British Columbia court in Canada has ruled Google must block a group of websites worldwide. The case was opened by industrial networking devices manufacturer Equustek Solutions, Inc. to block a network of websites it claims are owned by former associates who stole trade secrets to illegally manufacture and sell competing products. According to a report from the The Globe and Mail, a temporary injunction against Google was issued last Friday in spite of Google’s protests that Canadian courts had no…

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Edward Snowden Warns Us of the Dark Path Ahead

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In written testimony to the European Union (EU), Edward Snowden explained in patient, well-written, detailed prose exactly why what the NSA is doing is so dangerous. Snowden reveals himself an articulate writer, and through that moves from mere whistleblower into an almost philosophical role. His testimony deserves your full read, so you should best stop right here and just go read it. For those who prefer some highlights, with commentary, please follow me deeper down the rabbit hole. Snowden says: The suspicionless surveillance programs of the NSA, GCHQ, and so…

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Google’s EU Antitrust Settlement Offer Won’t Suit Rivals

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Google Inc. (GOOG)’s offer to settle an antitrust probe with the European Union by labeling its own services more clearly in Web search results is a “non-starter” for a group of competitors such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Foundem. The companies and at least 10 other rivals that filed complaints with the EU will be able to give feedback on the remedies submitted by the Mountain View, California-based company to settle the almost three-year-old investigation. Adapted from bloomberg.com

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