Google and Facebook Face Tighter EU Grip With New Privacy Law

Google and Facebook Face Tighter EU Grip With New Privacy Law

Foto: Fotolia

Google, Facebook and other Internet companies will be covered by strict new European Union privacy rules that seek to limit access to consumers’ data, according to Bloomberg. The EU unveiled draft rules that would give online users more control of their settings and limit the “overload of consent requests” for cookies people encounter when browsing the web.

The rules would extend the EU’s ePrivacy law beyond telecommunications operators to include “new providers of electronic communications services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Gmail, iMessage, or Viber,” the regulator said. “I want to ensure confidentiality of electronic communications and privacy,” Andrus Ansip, EU vice president for the digital single market, said in an e-mailed statement. “Our draft ePrivacy Regulation strikes the right balance: it provides a high level of protection for consumers, while allowing businesses to innovate.”

The latest proposal is among a series of regulatory fences companies have seen pop up as watchdogs seek to curb unwarranted processing of people’s personal data by online companies. Industry groups said the EU may be imposing stricter limits on communications companies than on other providers who process similar data. “Unless we overcome the current inconsistencies and restrictions, telecom operators in Europe will be prevented from expanding consumer choice and offering new competitive services to citizens,” ETNO, a group of European phone operators, and GSMA, the body representing mobile operators, said in a joint statement.

Others complained that the EU was on the verge of a regulation overload with the second group of proposals on top of the year-old data-protection rules. “This proposal risks incoherence and confusion with the General Data Protection Regulation requiring one approach to safeguarding privacy and ePrivacy another,” said James Waterworth, Europe vice-president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represents technology companies, including Google.

The proposal for a new ePrivacy law comes just months after the EU adopted a complete overhaul of the bloc’s data protection rules. They will take effect in May 2018 and for the first time give national privacy regulators the power to fine companies as much as 4 percent of their global annual sales for violations. The same fining powers would also apply in case of breaches of the latest EU draft rules, which still need the backing of the European Parliament and EU ministers.

More from category

Pact to Speed Up Bitcoin Drives Digital Currency to Record High

Pact to Speed Up Bitcoin Drives Digital Currency to Record High

25 May 2017 comment

Bitcoin’s seemingly unstoppable rally has just been given new impetus. According to Bloomberg, the cryptocurrency extended its surge by 10 percent to a record-high $2,690, bringing gains this year to 182 percent, after an agreement to upgrade the speed of processing transactions.

Terror Posts and Encryption Targeted by U.K. Following Attack

Terror Posts and Encryption Targeted by U.K. Following Attack

25 May 2017 comment

The U.K. government urged social-media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to tackle terror posts on their sites as it reinforced its demand to allow access to encrypted messages, according to Bloomberg.

GfK: Upward Trend in the Consumer Climate in Germany Continues

GfK: Upward Trend in the Consumer Climate in Germany Continues

25 May 2017 comment

German consumers were still highly confident in May of this year, providing reliable support to the economy. This was reflected in heightened expectations of the economy and income. Propensity to buy fell slightly, but still remained at a high level.