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Facebook warned over ‘very small’ indicator LED on smart glasses, as EU DPAs flag privacy concerns

Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe has raised concerns about a pair of “smart” Ray-Ban sunglasses the tech giant is now selling. The glasses include a face-mounted camera that can be used to take pictures and short videos with a verbal cue. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) said Friday that it has asked the tech […]

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WhatsApp faces $267M fine for breaching Europe’s GDPR

It’s been a long time coming but Facebook is finally feeling some heat from Europe’s much trumpeted data protection regime: Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has just announced a €225 million (~$267 million) fine for WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned messaging app has been under investigation by the Irish DPC, its lead data supervisor in the European […]

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CJEU ruling could open big tech to more privacy litigation in Europe

A long running privacy fight between Belgium’s data protection authority and Facebook — over the latter’s use of online trackers like pixels and social plug-ins to snoop on web users — has culminated in a ruling by Europe’s top court today that could have wider significance on how cross-border cases against tech giants are enforced […]

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Facebook’s use of ad data triggers antitrust probes in UK and EU

Facebook is facing a fresh pair of antitrust probes in Europe. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the EU’s Competition Commission both announced formal investigations into the social media giant’s operations today — with what’s likely to have been coordinated timing. The competition regulators will scrutinize how Facebook uses data from advertising customers […]

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Europe to press the adtech industry to help fight online disinformation

The European Union plans to beef up its response to online disinformation, with the Commission saying today it will step up efforts to combat harmful but not illegal content — including by pushing for smaller digital services and adtech companies to sign up to voluntary rules aimed at tackling the spread of this type of manipulative […]

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Facebook faces ‘mass action’ lawsuit in Europe over 2019 breach

Facebook is to be sued in Europe over the major leak of user data that dates back to 2019 but which only came to light recently after information on more than 533 million accounts was found posted for free download on a hacker forum. Today Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) announced it’s commencing a “mass action” […]

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Competition challenge to Facebook’s ‘superprofiling’ of users sparks referral to Europe’s top court

A German court that’s considering Facebook’s appeal against a pioneering pro-privacy order by the country’s competition authority to stop combining user data without consent has said it will refer questions to Europe’s top court. In a press release today the Düsseldorf court writes [translated by Google]: “…the Senate has come to the conclusion that a […]

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Apple’s Tim Cook warns of adtech fuelling a ‘social catastrophe’ as he defends app tracker opt-in

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has urged Europe to step up privacy enforcement in a keynote speech to the CPDP conference today — echoing many of the points he made in Brussels in person two years ago when he hit out at the ‘data industrial complex’ underpinning the adtech industry’s mass surveillance of Internet users. Reforming […]

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From the US to China, Korea, India and Europe, antitrust action against tech is gaining serious momentum

After decades of global expansion and consolidation in the tech sector, antitrust is now a headline issue for the industry across the world. What has been a slow and sputtering series of disparate actions over the past decade has coalesced in just the past few weeks into a rapid and comprehensive series of actions against […]

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Digital marketing firms file UK competition complaint against Google’s Privacy Sandbox

Google’s push to phase out third party tracking cookies — aka its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ initiative — is facing a competition challenge in Europe. A coalition of digital marketing companies announced today that it’s filed a complaint with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), calling for the regulator to block implementation of the Sandbox. The […]

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Europe urges e-commerce platforms to share data in fight against coronavirus scams

European lawmakers are pressing major e-commerce and media platforms to share more data with each other as a tool to fight rogue traders who are targeting consumers with coronavirus scams. After the pandemic spread to the West, internet platforms were flooded with local ads for PPE of unknown and/or dubious quality and other dubious coronavirus […]

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Daily Crunch: Facebook Dating comes to Europe

Facebook’s dating feature expands after a regulatory delay, we review the new Amazon Echo and President Donald Trump has an on-the-nose Twitter password. This is your Daily Crunch for October 22, 2020. The big story: Facebook Dating comes to Europe Back in February, Facebook had to call off the European launch date of its dating […]

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Instagram’s handling of kids’ data is now being probed in the EU

Facebook’s lead data regulator in Europe has opened another two probes into its business empire — both focused on how the Instagram platform processes children’s information. The action by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), reported earlier by the Telegraph, comes more than a year after a U.S. data scientist reported concerns to Instagram that its […]

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Europe eyeing limits on how big tech can use data and bundle apps — reports

European lawmakers are considering new rules for Internet giants that could include forcing them to share data with smaller rivals and/or put narrow limits on how they can use data in a bid to level the digital playing field. Other ideas in the mix are a ban on dominant platforms favoring their own services or […]

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Tech giants are ignoring questions over the legality of their EU-US data transfers

A survey of responses from more than 30 companies to questions about how they’re approaching EU-U.S. data transfers in the wake of a landmark ruling (aka Schrems II) by Europe’s top court in July, which struck down the flagship Privacy Shield over U.S. surveillance overreach, suggests most are doing the equivalent of burying their head […]

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Facebook denies it will pull service in Europe over data transfer ban

Facebook’s head of global policy has denied the tech giant could close its service to Europeans if local regulators order it to suspend data transfers to the US following a landmark Court of Justice ruling in July that has cemented the schism between US surveillance laws and EU privacy rights. Press reports emerged this week […]

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Facebook seeks fresh legal delay to block order to suspend its transatlantic data transfers

Facebook is firing up its lawyers to try to block EU regulators from forcing it to suspend transatlantic data transfers in the wake of a landmark ruling by Europe’s top court this summer. The tech giant has applied to judges in Ireland to seek a judicial review of a preliminary suspension order, it has emerged. […]

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Facebook told it may have to suspend EU data transfers after Schrems II ruling

Ireland’s data protection watchdog, the DPC, has sent Facebook a preliminary order to suspend data transfers from the EU to the US, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter and including a confirmation from Facebook’s VP of global affairs, Nick Clegg. The preliminary suspension order follows a landmark ruling by Europe’s […]

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EU websites’ use of Google Analytics and Facebook Connect targeted by post-Schrems II privacy complaints

A month after Europe’s top court struck down a flagship data transfer arrangement between the EU and the US as unsafe, European privacy campaign group, noyb, has filed complaints against 101 websites with regional operators which it’s identified as still sending data to the US via Google Analytics and/or Facebook Connect integrations. Among the entities […]

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Telegram hits out at Apple’s App Store ‘tax’ in latest EU antitrust complaint

Apple has another antitrust charge on its plate. Messaging app Telegram has joined Spotify in filing a formal complaint against the iOS App Store in Europe — adding its voice to a growing number of developers willing to publicly rail against what they decry as Apple’s app “tax.” A spokesperson for Telegram confirmed the complaint […]

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Legal clouds gather over US cloud services, after CJEU ruling

In the wake of yesterday’s landmark ruling by Europe’s top court — striking down a flagship transatlantic data transfer framework called Privacy Shield, and cranking up the legal uncertainty around processing EU citizens’ data in the U.S. in the process — Europe’s lead data protection regulator has fired its own warning shot at the region’s […]

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Europe’s top court strikes down flagship EU-US data transfer mechanism

A highly anticipated ruling by Europe’s top court has just landed — striking down a flagship EU-US data flows arrangement called Privacy Shield. “The Court of Justice invalidates Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shield,” it wrote in a press release. The CJEU’s finding is that “the […]

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All Facebook users can now access a tool to port data to Google Photos

Facebook’s photo transfer tool is now available globally half a year on from an initial rollout in Europe, the company said today. The data portability feature enables users of the social network to directly port a copy of their photos to Google’s eponymous photo storage service via encrypted transfer, rather than needing to download and […]

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German federal court squashes consent opt-outs for non-functional cookies

Yet another stake through the dark-patterned heart of consentless online tracking. Following a key cookie consent ruling by Europe’s top court last year, Germany’s Federal Court (BGH) has today handed down its own ‘Planet49’ decision — overturning an earlier appeal ruling when judges in a district court had allowed a pre-checked box to stand for […]

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First major GDPR decisions looming on Twitter and Facebook

The lead data regulator for much of big tech in Europe is moving inexorably towards issuing its first major cross-border GDPR decision — saying today it’s submitted a draft decision related to Twitter’s business to its fellow EU watchdogs for review. “The draft decision focusses on whether Twitter International Company has complied with Articles 33(1) […]

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Apple’s handling of Siri snippets back in the frame after letter of complaint to EU privacy regulators

Apple is facing fresh questions from its lead data protection regulator in Europe following a public complaint by a former contractor who revealed last year that workers doing quality grading for Siri were routinely overhearing sensitive user data. Earlier this week the former Apple contractor, Thomas le Bonniec, sent a letter to European regulators laying […]

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Europe to Facebook: Pay taxes and respect our values — or we’ll regulate

A livestreamed “debate” yesterday between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a European commissioner shaping digital policy for the internal market, Thierry Breton, sounded cordial enough on the surface, with Breton making several chummy references to “Mark” — and talking about “having dialogue to establish the right governance” for digital platforms — while Zuckerberg kept it […]

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Facebook launches Avatars, its Bitmoji competitor, in the US

Facebook’s Avatars feature, which lets you customize a virtual lookalike of yourself for use as stickers in comments and Messenger chats, is today launching in the U.S. Essentially Facebook’s version of Snap’s Bitmoji, Avatars were first introduced last year and have been since made available in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada. Based on early feedback, […]

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Facebook Avatars, a Bitmoji competitor, launches in Europe

Facebook Avatars, which lets users customize a virtual lookalike of themselves for use as stickers in chat and comments, is now available across Europe, the company said today. The social giant’s Avatars, a clone of Snapchat’s popular Bitmoji, was first unveiled last year. The feature, which Facebook sees as an expression tool, is aimed at […]

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Facebook launches Fundraisers in India, expands partnerships with state governments for WhatsApp and Messenger helplines

Facebook has expanded Fundraisers to India and is working with several additional state governments to provide authoritative information about the coronavirus to more people in the country, it said today. Fundraisers, which was available in the U.S., Europe and dozens of other markets prior to Monday’s announcement, allows people to collectively contribute towards the community. […]