Displaying items by tag: EU
Italy’s Competition Authority (ICA) has taken legal action against Facebook, threatening to fine the social media giant for failing to comply with their terms regarding data practices involving user data which were previously set in November 2018.
The ICA issued a statement which read that if a company failed to comply with their terms, it would potentially result in a €5 million fine.
Facebook was fined €5 million back in November 3018 after the ICA found that the social media giant did not inform its users adequately about their personal data collection procedure and how it was being used for commercial purposes. More specifically, they were penalized on the grounds of “the remunerative aims underlying the supply of the service , while at the same time emphasizing that it is provided free of charge.”
The ICA also asked Facebook to put an end to this and publish an amending statement which was to be shown on the homepage of the website as well as the app and the person profiles of all Italian users.
However the regulatory agency found that, upon registering on the social network, users “are still not adequately and immediately informed about the collection and use of their personal data for commercial purposes” and that “Facebook did not publish the amending statement”.
When it comes to regulator probes, Facebook has been under the spotlight over the past few years.
A spokesperson rom Facebook stated, “We are reviewing the authority decision… We made changes last year, including to our terms of service, to further clarify how Facebook makes money. These changes were part of our ongoing commitment to give people more transparency and control over their information.”
The European Union (EU) plans to push for greater regulation of internet phone messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, Skype and WhatsApp.
US chipmaking giant Qualcomm has been fined 242 million euros by the EU for an antitrust violation.
The fine is the second penalty imposed on the company by Brussels, the previous fine being 997 million euros back in 2018.
“Our investigation found that Qualcomm abused” its dominant position in the market between mid-2009 and mid-2011 by “engaging in predatory pricing,” read the statement issued by the EU.
According to the EU’s case, the chips in question are “key components so that mobile devices can connect to the internet” and that “Qualcomm sold these products at a price below cost to key customers with the intention of eliminating a competitor,” said EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
The EU also stated that Qualcomm sold chipsets to Huawei and ZTE, strategic customers which are Chinese tech giants, “with the intention of eliminating Icera, its main rival”.
Qualcomm said in a statement that it would appeal this decision as a means of exposing “the meritless nature” of it.
The EU fine, according to the chipmaking giant’s General Counsel, Don Rosenberg, is “unsupported by the law, economic principles or market facts, and we look forward to a reversal on appeal.”
Rosenberg added that the Chinese tech giants chose Qualcomm because “rival chipsets were technologically inferior”.
Qualcomm was also recently fined in Korea and Taiwan for antitrust concerns. In fact, the chipmaker finalized a two-year-long legal battle with Apple over royalties.
Trump has criticized Vestager’s cases against US tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Apple. In fact, Google was previously given 3 major fines from the European Commission amounting to a total of 8.25 billion euros.
The EU's powerful anti-trust authority cleared the buyout by IBM of open source software company Red Hat, one of the biggest tech mergers in history which the computing giant said would enhance its cloud offerings.
US tech giant Google has appealed an EU fine of 1.49 billion euros ($1.69 billion) for unfair practices through misuse of its dominant position, a source close to the case said.
The World Economic Forum launched six Industry 4.0 Councils on Wednesday to aid policymakers and enterprises in leveraging emerging technologies whilst anticipating the social risks that could result from them.
Huawei’s European figurehead has blasted the US over its treatment of the Chinese vendor has described their behavior as ‘bullying’.
Spotify recently made an official complaint against Apple to the European Commission, accusing it of anti-competitive behavior and their complaints have now warranted an investigation.
5G plans in Brussels have been put on hold until radiation levels as a consequence of the new technology are measured accurately.
Brussels has the strictest telecom radiation regulations globally. The Belgian government is concerned that 5G technology is unable to measure radiation from 5G antennas.
The Belgian Institute of Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) recommended last year that the country should loosen their grip on the limits they have set in order to allow the region to capitalize on 5G technology. As a result, ministers approved of this and increased the indoor limit to 9 volts per meter (v/m) and the outdoor limit to 14.5 v/m.
Orange has unveiled its plan to rollout 5G in Brussels this year and to make it commercial by next year.
The Minister for Housing, Quality of Life, Environment and Energy in the Government of the Brussels Capital Region, Celine Fremault, has decided to halt any further activity with regards to 5G deployment. Fremault is worried that the MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) antennas needed for 5G technology are unable to accurately measure the level of radiation emitted which would mean that there is a risk of the technology not being within legal limits.
She said that while she recognizes the benefits that come with 5G technology, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”
She added, “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not.”
Additionally, Belgian operators are currently facing more challenges pertaining to the 5G rollout as the government has decided to delay the spectrum auction. It has been speculated that while it has been postponed to 2020, it may be postponed even further as ministers have not been able to reach an agreement on 5G licenses and how they should proceed with the auction.
Switzerland on the other hand, has begun its 5G rollout. Swisscom recently published a ‘fact check’ on 5G technology in order to avoid “misinformation”.
Christian Neuhaus, a Swisscom spokesman commented on the issue by stating that, “The frequencies are the same as what we’ve been using for years. They’ve been analyzed in thousands of studies and not one has managed to prove scientifically that there’s a serious risk to health.”
Internet behemoth Google deemed the overhaul of the bloc’s online copyright law to be damaging for Europe for “decades to come” as it urged the European parliament to resist its approval.
European lawmakers have until next week to vote on the landmark legislation. This legislation that is aimed at modernizing copyright for the digital age has caused a lobbying war in Brussels.
This reform has been debated for the past few years by EU member states, tech giants and artistic creators. Google has tried to approach MEPs to discourage the law from being passed this month.
The biggest issue as of yet is the request for illegal content to be deleted off YouTube (owned by Google) and various other platforms using automatic filters otherwise, there would be liable.
According to Google’s senior Vice President of Global Affairs, Kent Walker, the reform “creates vague, untested requirements” that would mean that many websites would end up “over-blocking content”.
“This would be bad for creators and users who will see online services wrongly block content simple because they need to err on the side of caution and reduce legal risks,” he said.
The “unintended consequences” could potentially “hurt Europe’s creative economy for decades to come” he added.
Another issue is the provision to devise “neighboring rights” for media publishers.
News organizations are in favor of this legislation to be passed because they feel that tech giants such as Facebook have made billions from advertising that is very often tied to news stories, while the publishing industry suffers.
In reference to the implications of this planned reform on the publishing industry, Walker said that it “hurts small and emerging publishers, and limits consumer access to a diversity of news sources.”
He warned: “Under the directive, showing anything beyond mere facts, hyperlinks and ‘individual words and very short extracts’ would be restricted.”
Due to the controversy around the issue, the outcome of the vote remains uncertain.