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Category Archives: EU Data Protection

Consumer Watchdog files FTC complaint on Right to be Forgotten

Consumer Watchdog news release: “Google’s failure to offer U.S. users the ability to request the removal of search engine links from their name to information that is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive is an “unfair and deceptive” practice, Consumer Watchdog said in a complaint today to the Federal Trade Commission. In Europe where the Internet giant has removed 41.3 percent of such links when requested, this is known as the “Right To Be Forgotten.” More accurately this ability is the “Right To Relevancy” or “Privacy By Obscurity” for the digital age, said Consumer Watchdog. “Google’s refusal to consider such requests in the United States is both unfair and deceptive, violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act,” wrote John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “We urge the Commission to investigate and act.” Google’s recent announcement that it would honor requests to remove links from its search results to so-called “revenge porn” – nude or explicit photos posted without the subject’s consent – shows that Google could easily honor Right To Be Forgotten requests in the U.S., Simpson said. “The Internet giant aggressively and repeatedly holds itself out to users as being deeply committed to privacy. Without a doubt requesting the removal of a search engine link from one’s name to irrelevant data under the Right To Be Forgotten (or Right to Relevancy) is an important privacy option,” Consumer Watchdog’s complaint said. “Though Google claims it is concerned about users’ privacy, it does not offer U.S. users the ability to make such a basic request.  Describing yourself as championing users’ privacy and not offering a key privacy tool – indeed one offered all across Europe – is deceptive behavior.”

EU Proposed Reg on Protection of Personal Data

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, July 2, 2015.

EU Data Protection Directive

Via EPIC – European NGOs Critical of Council Position on New Data Protection Law:  “In response to an earlier proposal from the European Parliament, the European Council has approved a draft intended to update the EU1995 Data Directive. The goal of the new Regulation is to modernize, harmonize, and strengthen data protection across the EuropeanContinue Reading

UK Government Report – A Question of Trust

Via lawfareblog – “Entitled “A Question of Trust,” the report was presented to Parliament and the Prime Minister today and was authored by David Anderson QC, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.  As required under the 2014 Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, Anderson therein undertakes a broad review of law and policy regarding “investigatory powers” in the UK—essentially government surveillance andContinue Reading

US Legal System on Data Protection in the Field of Law Enforcement

The US Legal System on Data Protection in the Field of Law Enforcement. Safeguards, Rights and Remedies for EU Citizens 15-05-2015: “Upon request by the LIBE Committee, this study surveys the US legal system of data protection in the field of federal law enforcement. It reviews two principal sources of US data protection law, theContinue Reading

Antitrust: EU Commission launches e-commerce sector inquiry

News release: “The European Commission has today launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the e-commerce sector in the European Union. The inquiry, as announced by Commissioner Vestager in March, will allow the Commission to identify possible competition concerns affecting European e-commerce markets. It complements actions launched within the framework of the Digital Single Market StrategyContinue Reading

NGOs Urge European Commission to Uphold Privacy

“EPIC has joined a coalition of over sixty NGOs from around the world in a letter to President Juncker of the European Commission, urging him to uphold robust data protection standards. The institutions of the European Union are currently negotiating the new General Data Protection Regulation. The European Commission previously promised that the Data ProtectionContinue Reading

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on comparison shopping service

“The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Google outlining the Commission’s preliminary view that the company is abusing a dominant position, in breach of EU antitrust rules, by systematically favouring its own comparison shopping product in its general search results pages in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission is concerned thatContinue Reading

A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms

From social media service to advertising network – A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms DRAFT 31 March 2015. The authors are part of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT/Centre for Intellectual Property Rights(ICRI/CIR) of KU Leuven (www.icri.be), the department of Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) of the Vrije UniversiteitContinue Reading

Facebook tracks all users in breach of EU law

theguardian, Samuel Gibbs: “Facebook tracks the web browsing of everyone who visits a page on its site even if the user does not have an account or has explicitly opted out of tracking in the EU, extensive research commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency has revealed. The report, from researchers at the Centre ofContinue Reading

European Court of Justice Hears Case Challenging “Safe Harbor” Agreement and NSA Spying

EPIC – “The Court of Justice for the European Union heard arguments this week in Maximilian Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner, a case filed in Ireland following the revelations of the NSA PRISM program. At issue is whether the disclosure of EU citizens’ data by Facebook and other Internet companies to the NSA violates theContinue Reading

CRI/CIR advises Belgian Privacy Commission in Facebook investigation

“In December 2014, Facebook announced that it would revise its Data Use Policy and Terms of Service. At the request of the Belgian Privacy Commission, ICRI/CIR (KU Leuven), in cooperation with iMinds-SMIT (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) conducted an extensive analysis of Facebook’s revised policies and terms. Facebook rolled out its new policies and terms on JanuaryContinue Reading