Tuesday

26th May 2020

EU data protection rules abused to censor media

This week the EU's data protection rules (known as the GDPR) are two-years old. While the controversial GDPR was intended to offer greater privacy rights, it has also been abused by some authorities to muzzle a free press.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson: Shops in UK will reopen on 15 June
  2. German doctors: Summer holidays could cause second wave
  3. EU forced to choose between China and US: Borrell
  4. Spain to lift two-week arrival quarantine from July
  5. Germany gives Lufthansa €9bn bailout for equity stake
  6. Volkswagen ordered to pay in landmark 'dieselgate' case
  7. 40 million health workers urge more G20 investment
  8. Jourova: Budget rule-of-law link 'more needed than ever'

MEPs urge binding rules for common chargers by July

MEPs demanded the European Commission ensure immediate EU regulatory action on common chargers for all mobile devices by July, enabling users to easily re-use old devices and reducing e-waste.

Online platforms need regulating, Jourova warns

The EU commission vice-president pledged to tackle disinformation by regulating platforms and cleaning up online political advertising rules. She also pointed to Russia and China as wanting to undermine European democracy.

Coronavirus

Cybercrime rises during coronavirus pandemic

Cybercrime and cyberattacks have increased due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, the World Health Organization, hospitals and research centres are being targeted by organised cybercriminals - searching for information, intelligence, and systems access.

Coronavirus

Privacy issues arise as governments track virus

Governments are attempting to track the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across Europe using mobile phone data. When it comes to data protection, exceptions are allowed in times of crisis but must be limited in time and scope, critics warn.

MEPs: 'Mass surveillance' still possible under US privacy deal

A delegation of MEPs from the civil liberties committee have warned of the remaining "deficiencies" of the EU-US 'privacy shield' framework, amid concerns over the efficiency of this mechanism to protect EU citizens' fundamental rights.

Opinion

China's cat-and mouse game blocking web content no model for EU

The angriest citizens can turn to protests or violence, leading governments to increase control and monitoring of platforms, reinforcing the problem. This painful point has to be made to stop the EU repeating China's mistake of top-down internet regulation.

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Coronavirus

New warning on virus apps' digital privacy safeguards

Authorities have already released or plan to roll out contact-tracing apps across the EU. However, the coronavirus pandemic has brought into focus the risks of these surveillance technologies - and their potential negative impact on human rights.

Coronavirus

Tech giants must stop Covid-19 'infodemic', say doctors

Doctors and nurses around the world are asking tech giants to correct the record on health misinformation and tweak their algorithms which decide what people get to see on social media platforms.

Opinion

The Dutch tracing app 'soap opera' - lessons for Europe

The app would need to be paired with more than 100,000 daily tests in order to have effect. And far more than 60 percent of the population will need to use the app in order for it to be effective.

Investigation

China suspected of bio-espionage in 'heart of EU'

Chinese spies have targeted Belgian biological warfare experts, vaccine-maker GSK, and other high-tech firms in the country, Belgium's intelligence service suspects.

Coronavirus

EU's virus-alert agency says more funds needed

The EU's disease prevention agency says more funds will be needed to shore up surveillance of infectious diseases, which it wants to make less reliant on humans.

Coronavirus

Vestager pushes tracing apps as key for summer holidays

The commissioner for the digital portfolio, Margrethe Vestager, warned that "without the technology, it will be very difficult to open [society] to the degree that we all want" - since new outbreaks might surge back until there is a vaccine.

Investigation

EU agencies tested monitoring data on refugees

As debate around the issue of contact-tracing grows, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals that the new science of predicting and monitoring population movements is already here – and EU agencies have been testing it on refugees and migrants.

Coronavirus

Experts push decentralised Covid19 apps to gain trust

A decentralised approach to coronavirus contact-tracing apps is starting to gain ground in the privacy debate within the EU and beyond - especially after centralised solutions are reported to pose a risk for fundamental rights.

Coronavirus

Will coronavirus change EU's pharma supply chain?

The European Commission vice-president Vera Jourova recognised that the EU's pharmaceutical sector had a 'morbid dependency' on third-country suppliers. But some experts from the pharma field have warned export bans undermine global supply chains.

Coronavirus

EU agrees not to use location data in tracing apps

Member states agreed on Thursday that Covid-19 mobile applications used for contact-tracing should not process location data of individuals, amid rising concerns over privacy.

Analysis

Coronavirus: Are we trading privacy for security?

The response of EU countries to the coronavirus outbreak has prompted unprecedented levels of surveillance, data exploitation, and misinformation. Privacy campaigners, and MEPs, have warned of future adverse side-effects.

Coronavirus

EU science chief who 'quit' had been told to resign

Contested version of events cloud the shock resignation of Mauro Ferrari as president of the European Research Council. Ferrari dramatically tendered his resignation on 7 April. But his colleagues overseeing the council wanted him gone already by late March.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus exposes lack of common data approach

The enormous differences between coronavirus cases reported worldwide raise questions on how countries are tracking their outbreaks - or even deliberately underreporting them.

EU backtracks on plans to ban facial recognition

The European Commission came under fire on Wednesday for ruling out a moratorium on facial recognition. Instead, it proposed a public debate with stakeholders to determine when this technology might be used.

Opinion

Only EU can tame Zuckerberg's Facebook

When the EU speaks, Silicon Valley listens. The tech titans know that the EU matters. Which is why it's so crucial that following the lobbying from Zuckerberg, on disinformation, the EU gets regulation right.

Zuckerberg lobbies Brussels ahead of new EU rules

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met on Monday three European commissioners in charge of digital policies - Thierry Breton, Margrethe Vestager and Vera Jourová - to discuss upcoming EU rules and the responsibilities of platforms regarding disinformation.

Analysis

EU plan on AI: new rules, better taxes

The bloc wants to become a global leader in innovation in the data economy and AI. However, proportional legislation, better data-availability and huge invesment will be needed across the EU to compete with China and the US.

Opinion

Why EU will find it difficult to legislate on AI

The private sector, governments, academia, and civil society have all been calling for ethical guidelines in AI development - but these discussions remain vague, open to interpretation, non-universal, and most importantly, unenforceable.

EU rules leave 5G networks open for Huawei

The European Commission unveiled its "toolbox" of security standards for 5G - without excluding any specific telecom supplier, amid concerns over Huawei's links to China's intelligence services.

US and UK in war of words over Huwaei

British ministers are expected to allow Huawei limited access to the UK's 5G networks at the National Security Council on Tuesday, amid concerns over the firm's links to China's intelligence services.

AI must have human oversight, MEPs recommend

The European Parliament's internal market committee (IMCO) insists humans must remain in control automated decision-making processes, ensuring that people are responsible and able to overrule the outcome of decisions made by computer algorithms.

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