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Internet News Technology

Europe Launches Investigation into Google

Google MonopolyThe European Anti-Trust regulator has launched an investigation into Google over complaints by two rivals that Google demoted their sites on the grounds of being a competitor. Not surprisingly Microsoft filed a complaint with the commission against Google as well. Since when did it become standard business practice to assume your competitor is acting without genuine practices. If that were the case the regulators would have more cases than they know what to do with.

Google smugly responded with: “There is always going to be room for improvement, so we will be working with the Commission to address any concerns”

The commission has severe powers-  they can fine 10% of what the companies global turn over was if they find Google guilty of anti competition. Of course, if they act anything like Microsoft, the appeals process will take decades before any fines are ever paid. The commission will also investigate if the company acted maliciously over partner advertising – I think they are referring to ad-words for website revenue generation here.

References
Yahoo

Categories
Politics Technology

Privacy laws in the UK Suck Europe prepares for legal action!

privacy-protection-425x319It likely comes as a blow to the Government to find that UK is to face legal action in the European Courts for failure to comply with European Law in regards to privacy. The EU Directive requires that the UK (and other states in the EU) create a industrial regulator that will act as a guardian of privacy. The requirements that monitoring of Internet activity sticks within the permits of the law would be their responsibility.

Since the UK has failed to create such a regulator and given the high profile invasions of privacy such as BT’s trial of Phorm software against its user base to “provide better advertising” has lead to the EU Commission launching legal action against the Government to ensure that the privacy of the people is respected.

The EU Directives in question, ePrivacy Directive and Data Protection Directive in the opinion of the European Commision have been broken on two key points.

Firstly the aforementioned requirement of an regulatory body which should be independent needs to be setup to monitor the monitoring of interception of communications. This is the first point the commission is taking action over – creation of such a body will see the UK fall into compliance with this respect of the law.

Secondly, the UK Law in regards to permission for interception of communication has the vague requirement of the interceptor should have reason to believe that consent has been given. This does mean that under UK Law, consent does not actually need to be given only a reasonable believe that it is implied. Under the directives, consent must be given freely, and in knowledge of what is being given. This is a clear difference of opinion.

Many belive that with the information commisioner it should be able to cover the requirements of the regulator to cover and monitor and that the creation of a new body to manage this is a waste of tax payer’s money.At the very least however a significant shake up of the privacy laws of the UK may be in order.

References
The Gaurdian
V3