Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Minister Ed Vaizey oral evidence - The Digital Economy - 22 Mar 2016

Oral evidence - The Digital Economy - 22 Mar 2016: "I am not going to say that I want Apple or Google broken up.

What I would say is that I do think—funnily enough, what I said to the Commissioner—that it is perfectly valid for the Commission to be looking at platforms regulation as part of the digital single market. There is an issue, and my personal starting point is, how do we protect the consumer? How do we ensure that I as an Apple customer can move, should I decide to become a Samsung customer?

I want regulation in place that makes it as easy possible for me to move my data from one of those companies to another. I want it to be as easy as possible to leave Facebook to join whatever emerging social media company may be going. If I have spent five years on Facebook accumulating photos and posts, I want to move to a system—I am not saying this will happen overnight—where you can change your social media or technology provider as easily as you might in theory change your telephone provider."'via Blog this'

Friday, 11 March 2016

For better or for worse? The Commission and its ‘better regulation’ agenda

For better or for worse? The Commission and its ‘better regulation’ agenda | Consumer Corner: [BEUC] "But are we supposed to be reassured? The deal was negotiated without any involvement of the data protection authorities, let alone public interest organisations, and the Commission was under pressure from many, including US, business interests, not to interfere with data flowing across the Atlantic. The Commission has already held meetings with business representatives to inform them of the details of the new agreement, but the actual texts are still not available publically.

Even more worrying is that this Privacy Shield does not solve the underlying problem: the EU and US have fundamentally different and therefore incompatible approaches to personal data protection.

The Commission is showing some worrying signs.

In trying to appease voices critical of its policies, it is giving up on some of its core responsibilities. What the Commission calls ‘better’ regulation should not come at any cost. And certainly not at the expense of fundamental rights or of consumer protection." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Facebook hit by German competition probe -

Facebook hit by German competition probe - "The Bundeskartellamt said that Facebook collected large amounts of personal user data from various sources. “To access the social network, users must first agree to the company's collection and use of their data by accepting the terms of service,” it said. However, it “is difficult for users to understand and assess the scope of the agreement accepted by them”.
It said there was “considerable doubt” as to whether such a procedure was admissible under national data protection laws. “If there is a connection between such an infringement and market dominance, this could also constitute an abusive practice under competition law.” 

Facebook said: “We are confident that we comply with the law and we look forward to working with the Federal Cartel Office to answer their questions.” 

Tech industry sources said Facebook had been blindsided by the German move.
The Bundeskartellamt said it was launching the proceeding in close contact with data protection officers, consumer protection associations as well as the European Commission and the competition authorities of other EU member states. It will target the company’s Irish subsidiary and its German operation." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Apple’s “Code = Speech” Mistake

Apple’s “Code = Speech” Mistake:

"The right question to ask is whether the government’s regulation of a particular kind of code (just like regulations of spending, or speaking, or writing) threatens the values of free expression. Some regulations of code will undoubtedly implicate the First Amendment. Regulations of the expressive outputs of code, like the content of websites or video games, have already been recognized by the Supreme Court as justifying full First Amendment treatment.

It’s also important to recognize that as we do more and more things with code, there will be more ways that the government can threaten dissent, art, self-government, and the pursuit of knowledge." 'via Blog this'

Is the City worth it? Financial regulation by John Kay

Is the City worth it? | Prospect Magazine: "The resentment of earnings in finance is stoked by a well-founded combination of doubts about its utility, and a recognition that the global financial crisis revealed that many people in the finance sector were not, even within their own frame of reference, very good at their jobs.

 All inequality is to some degree socially corrosive, but inequality which seems unconnected to deserts is particularly corrosive. The most disturbing downside of the global success of the City of London is the corrupting effect on society at large of a depreciation of ordinary morality and human values. The ethical standards associated with parts of the finance sector have been deplorable." 'via Blog this'