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Technology 27-05-2022

Tech Brief: to be or not to be a platform worker, digital portfolio, CSAM

Welcome to EURACTIV’s Tech Brief, your weekly update on all things digital in the EU.

Facebook whistleblower calls on MEPs to make sure DSA won’t be ‘dead letter’

While revisiting the recently-agreed digital regulations, European Parliament lawmakers were joined by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen who called on them to do everything necessary to ensure that the DSA will be a "success story".
Technology 13-04-2022

Macron reopens debate on ending anonymity online

French President Emmanuel Macron has reiterated his opposition to online anonymity, stating that he will not close the door on the idea of dismantling platforms. EURACTIV France reports.
Data protection 08-04-2022

German regulator welcomes Google’s ‘reject all’ cookie button plan

Google's plans to include a "reject all" button on cookie banners after its existing policy violated EU law was welcomed by Hamburg's top data protection official, who presented his activity report on Thursday (7 April). EURACTIV Germany reports.

Breaking digital dominance

Today’s expected agreement on the Digital Markets Act is essential to crack market dominance in digital markets. However, if negotiators fail to agree on effective tools to get under the skin of the underlying business model of advertising, we risk not only stifling of innovation and poor data protection but on top of that also societal harms, such as disinformation and hate speech, write René Repasi and Paul Tang.
Technology 11-03-2022

Facebook allows Ukraine war posts urging violence against invading Russians, Putin

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to emails seen by Reuters, in a temporary change to its policy.
Technology 02-03-2022

Apple halts sales in Russia in response to Ukraine invasion

Apple will stop selling its products on Russian soil following calls from Ukraine in response to the war Russia has launched against the country. EURACTIV France reports.
Technology 01-03-2022

YouTube blocks access to Russian state-controlled media amid EU states’ call for action

YouTube on Tuesday (1 March) blocked accounts connected to Russian state-controlled RT and Sputnik and removed thousands of videos following calls to curb the spread of pro-Kremlin propaganda on social media after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Media 15-02-2022

Meta launches Facebook News in France

Meta has launched its Facebook News service in France, which will centralise news from around 100 media outlets from across the country and will be gradually rolled out from Tuesday (15 February) until all users can access it in May.
Technology 08-02-2022

Facebook Oversight Board recommends privacy improvements to tackle ‘doxing’

Meta should amend its privacy policy to ban the sharing of private residential information even when it is considered “publicly available”, the company’s Oversight Board has said. 
Data protection 08-02-2022

Habeck and Le Maire unfazed by Facebook’s withdrawal threats from the EU

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire seemed unimpressed on Monday (7 February) by digital giant Meta's threat of possibly withdrawing Facebook and Instagram from the EU, repeating that data should not be handed over without control.
Technology 04-02-2022

French operators urge large platforms to contribute to network costs

French telecom operators presented a list of grievances and 15 proposals to candidates in the presidential race on Thursday (3 February), including the proposal for "major digital content providers" to contribute to the "costs of networks to ensure their economic and environmental sustainability". EURACTIV France reports.
Technology 04-02-2022

Meta fined £1.5 million for breaching Giphy acquisition enforcement order

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined Meta £1.5 million for failing to give the watchdog advance warning of the departure of high-level staff, something it had agreed to do under the terms of an earlier order related to its acquisition of Giphy. 
Internet governance 01-02-2022

Big tech opposes Germany’s enhanced hate speech law

The amendment to Germany's Network Enforcement Act known as NetzDG on combatting hate speech online comes into force on Tuesday (1 February) but some of the largest online platforms refuse to cooperate. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Technology 01-02-2022

Facebook’s crypto project Diem sold after pushback

The Facebook-backed digital currency project Diem announced Monday (31 January) the winding down and $182-million sale of its technology, capping a years-long initiative that drew significant concern from regulators.
Data protection 28-01-2022

German Supreme Court orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms

Facebook must allow the use of pseudonyms on its platform Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled on Thursday (27 January). Until now, Facebook users were required to use their real names. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Technology 27-01-2022

EU Commission requires WhatsApp to clarify how it processes personal data

The European Commission sent a letter to WhatsApp on Thursday (27 January) asking how its new privacy policy meets the EU consumer protection requirements and clarifications on the exchanges of personal data with the parent company Meta. The letter results...
Technology 25-01-2022

Facebook trumpets massive new supercomputer

Facebook's parent company Meta announced on Monday (24 January) it was launching one of the world's most powerful supercomputers to boost its capacity to process data, despite persistent disputes over privacy and disinformation.
Internet governance 17-01-2022

French and German SMEs oppose tracking-based ads, survey finds

Ahead of a crucial EU parliamentary vote on the Digital Services Act, a survey has found that a majority of small businesses in France and Germany want alternatives to tracking-based advertisements by Google and Facebook, which they perceive as being too invasive.
Technology 14-01-2022

Facebook faces £2.3bn class-action in the UK for data ‘exploitation’

Meta is facing a major class-action lawsuit in the UK over claims that it abused its dominant market position to exploit the personal data of British users. 
Media 12-01-2022

French MPs call for more transparency, press unity in battle against digital giants

There is a need to put a stop to the information gap between the media and digital platforms, and encourage publishers to join forces to improve negotiations with digital platforms, French MPs concluded in a report presented on Wednesday.
Data protection 06-01-2022

French privacy watchdog fines Facebook and Google over cookie tracking rules

France's data protection watchdog known as the CNIL fined Facebook and Google €60 million and €150 million, respectively, on Thursday (6 December) in its latest crackdown against tech giants violating cookie tracking rules. EURACTIV France reports.
Technology 14-12-2021

France to prioritise digital regulation, tech sovereignty during EU Council presidency

Digital regulation and tech sovereignty will be among France's digital priorities when it takes over the rotating EU Council presidency in the first half of 2022. EURACTIV France reports.
Technology 13-12-2021

Advertising is essential to the free web. But tracking isn’t.

It’s heartening to see that European lawmakers are preparing to vote on beefed-up restrictions on tracking ads. In fact I wish they were willing to go even further and consider an outright ban - because as recent events and headlines have unambiguously shown, tracking is doing enormous damage to individual rights and to the integrity of democratic institutions.